Murder and Love: Shakespeare as Storyteller

Course InstructorGordon Grice has writen for such magazines as The New Yorker, Harper's, and Bookforum.  His books include The Red Hourglass and The Book of Deadly Animals.  He has taught writing and literature at California Institute of the Arts, The UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and, since 2001, the University of St. Thomas

Course Information:  Wednesdays, February 5-March 12, 2014, 9:30-11:30 a.m., O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, UST St. Paul Campus

Course Description:  This series aims to make Shakespeare acccessible and entertaining for a 21st-century audience.  We'll explore his major themes of love, violence, and generosity.  We'll also look at his storytelling methods for keys to his greatest achievements.

Registration fee for the series:  $80.00 per person

To register on-line with a credit card, click on this link:

To register by check or cash through the mail or in-person, click on this link for the registration form to download, print and mail in with your payment: Spring 2014 Registration Form

Link to campus map:  St. Paul Campus Map

Detailed Course Syllabus (subject to change):

February 5 It's been said that there are no new stories, only old ones retold.  We'll consider Shakespeare as a "re-teller" of tales and see what he learned from his main inspiration, the Roman writer Ovid.  Main text:  A Midsummer Night's Dream
February 12 Shakespeare defined modern horror with the ghosts and witches of Macbeth.  We'll consider how he made them relevant for a more enlightened age - and all the ages afterward.  Main text:  Macbeth
February 19 What makes Hamlet so special?  We'll see how Shakespeare arranged plot and speech to build the world's most renowned literary character.  Main text:  Hamlet
February 26 Do you believe in love at first sight?  Shakespeare seems to - but strange things happen to every Shakespearian pair before they meet. Main text:  Romeo and Juliet
March 5

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." - Orson Welles

From the beginning, editors have tried to fit Shakespeare's plays into categories like comedy and tragedy.  His best works are too big to fit.  Main text:  Twelfth Night

March 12 The Merchant of Venice challenges modern audiences.  Shakespeare had some old-fashioned ideas about race - but he was way ahead of us on something else.  Main text:  The Merchant of Venice

Upcoming Live Performances of Shakespeare Works in the Twin Cities

Shakespeare’s Will. The Jungle Theater. Through March 23.

            Theater Website:

            Direct Link to Play Information:


The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Lyric Arts Main Street Stage in Anoka. March 28-April 13, 2014.

            Theater Website:

            Direct Link to Play Information:


Twelfth Night. The Chameleon Theatre Circle/Green T Productions.  May 30-June 14, 2014.

                Theater Website: 

                Direct Link to Play Information:


The Comedy of Errors. Cromulent Shakespeare Company. Various parks in the Twin Cities throughout the month of June.

            Company Website:


From the Actors Who Performed and Spoke at the 2-12-2014 Class Session:

            Classical Actors Website:  (information about the ensemble and upcoming performances)

             Mike (2-12-14 Performer) will be playing Macbeth for the Mission Theatre Company in May (Mission Theatre website:                   (Note:  The website does not currently have information on this production, but should in the next couple of weeks or so)