Monday, February 13, 2012

My Funny Valentine

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and we’re all getting ready here at the ASC. The Blackfriars Playhouse has limited edition chocolate heart lollipops for sale in the gift shop, and a certain education intern keeps receiving large, elaborate bouquets from various secret admirers. (One of those statements may not be true.)
            What’s the best way to woo your valentine? Let’s take our lessons from the plays currently running during this year’s Actors’ Renaissance Season. First, there’s Much Ado about Nothing, which is all to do with love. Next, Richard III, which puts its own dark spin on wooing and winning a woman. Lastly, there’s Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding, which (if the title wasn’t enough of a clue) features love gone horribly awry due to secrecy, jealousy, and stabbings.
            If you want to woo like those in Much Ado, first decide if you’re a Claudio or a Benedick. If a Claudio, find a rich and good-looking friend to ask the object of your affection out on a date on your behalf. Make sure the friend is honest and virtuous. There’s no way this can possibly go wrong. If a Benedick, engage the object of your affection in verbal sparring as often as possible. Be witty but not cruel. Maybe date the object for a bit and then dump him/her unceremoniously. Wait several years. Repeat. Eventually realize you love the object (the use of an elaborate trick played by your friends to jumpstart this realization is recommended but not required) and corner him/her in an emotionally fraught moment (for example, after her cousin has just been slandered and left at the altar – or something along those lines). Tell the object you love him/her. If you’ve done these steps correctly, the object will ask you to kill your best friend. This means he/she loves you back.
            If you want to woo like Philaster, start by yelling at the object of your affection’s father in a very public place. Make sure the object is there to see it. Next, wait for the gods to strike the object full of love. This may take a while. Once you have the object’s love, threaten to kill yourself. Then threaten to kill the object. Then actually try to kill yourself. Then try to kill the object. Repeat as many times as you feel is necessary to completely win the object’s love, then put on masks and get married.
            I really don’t recommend wooing like a Richard, but if you’re set on it then you need to be fully committed. Are you? Good, let’s get started. First, kill the object of your affection’s spouse. Then, kill the spouse’s father. Then barge into the funeral and tell the object that you killed those relatives because you love him/her so much you couldn’t stand to see him/her married to anybody but you. Marry the object. Become the monarch of wherever you’re living (this step is optional, but it makes the following steps easier). Now, pay close attention, because this next part is important: you have to find a new object of affection. Why? The next step in the Richard Wooing Manual is to kill the original object. Attempt wooing tactic from Object #1 (kill spouse and spouse’s father) on Object #2, except this time, kill his/her brothers and most of his/her uncles. Say it is for love of him/her, etc. Disclaimer: this tactic rarely works, and always ends with your death. If you’re determined, though, give it a shot.
            I hope you found that educational! Although, if none of those wooing tactics meets your fancy, you could always take your sweetheart out to dinner and a show at the Blackfriars Playhouse! Now there’s a perfect Valentine’s Day.

-Lia Razak

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