Shakespeare love, community love | Editorial

Four hundred and fifty years later and Shakespeare is still rockin’ the arts.

A love for the Bard and a love for community brought together actors, musicians, singers, dancers and lecturers for four days of entertainment during the chamber’s Shakespeare Festival.

Now in its third year, the event is growing each spring season. It brings visitors from near and far, which is wonderful for local businesses, but we think it’s also a special gift to the Orcas community.

We would like to thank the volunteers who worked tirelessly to pull this off. From costumes to games in the green to performances from the Seattle Shakespeare Company, there were many details to iron out.

We also feel deep gratitude to the artists of this community. It takes courage and dedication to perform for an audience. To those who participated in the parade and graced the stage at Random Howse and the Village Green, we thank you. These actors and musicians learned baroque pieces, Shakespeare sonnets and entire scenes just for the festival.

The event also reminded us of the far-reaching impact of Shakespeare’s work. We heard music from “West Side Story” and “Kiss Me Kate,” both of which are based on his plays. A long list of time-honored phrases from Shakespeare’s works are woven into the English language. Here are just a few: there’s the rub; mark my words; dead as a doornail; good riddance; in my mind’s eye; laughing stock; wild-goose chase.

Shakespeare’s work is kept alive because it is some of the most lyrical, clever and universal literature ever written. But it has also endured because we still appreciate its beauty and hold wonderful festivals like the one last week on Orcas Island.