La Niña surprised me this summer. While I know there’s a little poet inside her that keeps poking it’s head out. What I didn’t realize is how much of a poet there is… and how deeply complex and intuitive her understanding of the world. This came out at this summer’s Shakespeare Festival.

I love watching Shakespeare in the park. I love seeing what people bring to the shows (e.g. a wine and cheese tasting buffet or brandy and chocolates). I love seeing what sort of costumes people will wear (e.g. hats with plumes or purple robes). I love seeing who laughs at the jokes and gets the irony. So, I thought it would be an interesting experience/experiment to bring La Niña to see how she reacted to the plays.

What I didn’t expect was for her to eat up Shakespeare like it was chocolate. Not only did she understand (her words: it’s like everyone is speaking in riddles and you have to figure out the meaning) but she took it in, spit it out, and then added more prose to make it better. After seeing a play, the rest of the evening was about poetry, prose, and her own creations.

During our first show, when I suggested we leave at the intermission, she begged to stay until the end because she was enjoying the play so much. And, this is how we ended up following the troupe around the Bay Area with our little picnic blanket… like groupies: Pleasanton… Cupertino… Redwood City… San Francisco…

This year’s show: The Taming of the Shrew. And the ultimate question throughout our experience was Who is the bigger Shrew? Our perception changed the more we experienced the plays. Next year’s production (2015): Romeo and Juliet.