My Green Shakespeares

Maggie Rose*

Abstract

The present article presents two Shakespeare rewrites, A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden (2016) and Ophelia Herb Woman (2018). Generally performed in botanical gardens and other outdoor settings, the plays aim to reach out to a wide and mixed audience on topics such as sustainability and biodiversity. Interwoven with the author’s presentation is a series of interviews, offering the points of view of members of the different creative teams involved in the performances of these works.

Keywords: Shakespeare, environment,  sustainabilty, outdoor settings, popular audiences

During Milan’s 2015 Expo, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” as an academic and a playwright, I started to consider in more depth than I had ever done previously the multiple environmental issues threatening our planet. In my specialist field of Shakespearean studies, moreover, my attention turned to the Bard’s relationship with, and knowledge of, food and the natural world. With colleagues at Milan University, I curated a festival and international conference, explored in the essay “ExpoShakespeare. Food for the City” (Cavecchi 2015) and in 2016 I co-edited, a collection of essays, ExpoShakespeare. Il sommo gourmet, il cibo e I cannabali (Caponi 2016).

My academic researches on this aspect of Shakespeare’s theatre continued with a further co-edited publication, Shakespeare, our Personal Trainer. Teaching Shakespeare in Secondary Schools (Rose 2018), which includes a section on gardens and the environment in Shakespeare, with a focus on how we can present these aspects of Shakespeare’s plays to adolescents.

These academic endeavours, however, did not satisfy my growing conviction about the need to reach a wider audience on topics such as sustainability and the burgeoning climate emergency. Subsequently, I hit on the idea of writing some adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays which would address such issues, hopefully impacting more powerfully on contemporary audiences of all social classes and educational backgrounds, many of whom never go to see full-scale Shakespeare productions at the theatre.

In the present essay, I will explore two of these Shakespeare rewrites, A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden (2016)and Ophelia Herb Woman (2018), which draw on Shakespeare plays, and incorporate in varying degrees Shakespeare scenes set in gardens, woods and forests, together with scenes of my invention.

To support other outputs linked to these rewrites, such as documentaries, educational kits, and exhibitions, in 2019 the Green Shakespeare project came into being, thanks to the concerted efforts of scholars, theatre practitioners and filmmakers in Milan and Stratford-upon-Avon. In Milan the present writer, Donatella Massimilla and Gilberta Crispino, respectively, founder and member of CETEC (European Centre of Theatre and Prison), while in Stratford-upon-Avon, filmmakers James and Liz Willetts are part of the group. So far we have produced a documentary, Shakespeare, Arlecchino and Green Passion that was launched at Milan’s Piccolo Theatre on 21 February 2022. The Documentary, written by Maggie Rose and directed by James Willetts, can be viewed on request.

A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden (hereafter abbreviated as AWSG) might be described as a promenade-musical play that invites spectators to immerse themselves in nature and activate their five senses. The Shakespeare portrayed in the play loved the natural world and set around twenty-eight scenes in gardens, orchards, woods and forests.

I consciously wished to underscore the eco-friendly perspective of Shakespeare’s work, even if there still remains the tension between human love for nature, on the one hand, and a domineering attitude on the other, seen in characters like Prospero in The Tempest and Iago in Othello. Prospero does his best to control Caliban, the native of the island, and thereby the island’s natural resources, while Iago’s belligerence in his exchange with Rodriguez is discussed later in the present essay.

As AWSG unfolds, audience members are introduced to the gardens Shakespeare actually owned in Stratford-upon-Avon and watch six scenes, accompanied by music, from his work, where gardens, a wood and a wild landscape stand central. AWSG is ideally performed in botanical gardens, gardens and parks, which enhance its themes.

My research began in 2015 at the two botanical gardens in Milan during the World Expo mentioned earlier. Thanks to an exchange with Martin Kater, a bioscientist and director of the gardens, and some of his researchers, I gradually realized the crucial role the natural world plays in our well-being and began exploring what it meant for Shakespeare. I became acquainted with the nutritional and medicinal properties of herbs and flowers, as well as their symbolism. (Rose “Gardens in Shakespeare’s Day” 8−22).

In AWSG I set out tointerweave a narrative about Shakespeare’s knowledge of, and connections with, the natural world, with scenes from six of his plays and music and songs by Renaissance composers and musicians, such as John Dowland and Robert Johnson. Two narrator figures acquaint audiences with the Bard’s knowledge of gardens and the plants and herbs living there, but also with the nutritional and symbolic meanings of the plants and flowers in the gardens featured in his plays. The narrators, moreover, keep audience members focused by posing seven questions, interspersed throughout the text, centering on key concepts in the plays.

The sequence of selected short scenes from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest are all situated in outdoor settings. Othello is set in Venice, a city, known for its stunning architecture, but it is likewise a place where nature creeps in everywhere. Iago informs the love-stricken Rodrigo:

Virtue? a fig! ‘tis in ourselves, that we are thus or thus; our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop, and weed up thyme; supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many … why, the power and corrigible authority of this, lies in our wills.

1.3.319−26

By creating and developing the metaphor, combining garden and body, Iago underscores how important gardens are for our wellbeing and how we need to take control of what we grow there. He considers himself to be all-powerful. According to him, a person’s will, in this case Rodriguez’s, should be used to change his feelings and actions. In other words, Rodriguez, who is madly in love, can learn to control his passions. Equally important, Iago encourages us to tend our bodies, by planting/eating certain foods rather than others, and thereby, in the context of Elizabethan medicine, achieving a balance of the humours, and thereby a state of physical and psychological wellbeing –  “wellbeing” for Iago, implying an absolute control over our emotions. Ecocritics would probably view Iago’s actions as tantamount to “ecophobia,” the human need to dominate uncontrolled nature (Estok). Instead Iago’s actions can be interpreted as geared to maintain the balance of humours, where extremes like those experienced by Rodriquez, are unacceptable.

Once the writing process was complete – or as complete as any play is before it goes into rehearsals – I began my search for a director and a cast. Donatella Massimilla, founder and director of  CETEC, agreed to direct, and for the play’s opening at Milan’s Brera Botanical Garden, we brought together a group of talented professionals. The reception of audience members was positive, which persuaded Donatella and I that it was worth seeking other openings for the play.

Our artistic journey continued thanks to Stefano L’Occaso, the then director of the Museum Network in Lombardy (il polo museale della Regione Lombardia), who offered financial backing and suggested two museum venues for further performances: the Grottoes of Catullus, an ancient archaeological site situated among the olive groves in Sirmione, a town on Lake Garda, and Palazzo Besta, a Renaissance palace and gardens in the mountains of Valtellina. In an interview, first published in an article, “On a Green Shakespeare in Italy” (Rose 2016), L’Occaso revealed his belief that live theatre can breathe new life into the seven museums and sites in the museum network:

Theatre activities can play an important role in museum life. In fact, museums may have a natural inclination towards theatre, for Renaissance palaces and other historic buildings often housed important theatres. This is true of the Roman or Renaissance or Baroque theatres that are so important in our Italian cultural heritage. But other settings also have natural links to the themes and iconographies of the theatre. As the Florentine critic D’Ancona remarked, theatre has always been linked to artistic production, and major painters, sculptors and architects – Giotto, Giulio Romano, Bernini, among others – included theatrical processes in their artworks.  

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L’Occaso is convinced that theatre can attract new audiences to the museums, “This might be because theatre creates an enveloping charm that binds the audience to the site – a new experience that brings new life to historical places and allows them to be experienced as vibrant and creative, rather than distant and frozen” (48).

The creative team in the case of AWSG was crucial in bringing the play to life and turning it into a vehicle, which could heighten audience awareness of the environmental issues discussed. In the following interviews Donatella Massimilla, actor Stefano Guizzi, who joined the cast in the play’s second production (performed mainly in English), and costume designer Susan Marshall discuss their contributions to AWSG (Rose, 2016, “On a Green Shakespeare in Italy”).  Donatella Massimilla pinpointed the crucial relationship between AWSG in performance and the outdoor setting: “One of the main challenges of this production was to unite the short fragmented ‘green’ scenes, narrative and music with the walk around a real garden or park, which in turn joins the botanic sap, running through the Bard’s veins, to the beauty of the actual places being explored” (49). I asked her if she considered directing AWSG in the natural setting of a garden to be an advantage or a disadvantage:

The experience actually took me back to my young days when I was involved in Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratorio Casa (‘Home Lab’) in the province of Amelia (Abruzzi region). The group lived and worked together and each morning one of our ‘actions’ was to go on ‘The Walk.’ This meant exploring the beautiful unspoiled countryside of Amelia, ambling in a long line behind our leader. In silence, we were told to listen to the sounds, breathe nature in and try to reactivate our senses. As I worked with the actors on AWSG and invited them to smell, taste and touch the flowers and herbs at Milan’s botanical garden, where we rehearsed, I remembered this experience long ago. Later during the performance, in their turn the players invite audience members to touch and smell the flowers and herbs featured in the script. So an actor-audience relationship comes into being that is special and quite different from the kind we see in an indoor theatre. It would be good to experiment with this relationship in further workshops and settings in the future.

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But had we really managed to involve a more mixed audience than those who normally go to see Shakespeare in Italy? Donatella replied:

There’s a lot of theatre going on in outdoor settings in Italy – the climate and the superb landscapes, parks and ‘secret’ gardens in our many regions help! This particular Shakespearean walk succeeds, I think, because we have found sensitive actors and singers, capable of interacting with very mixed audiences, young and old, from different backgrounds. This contact is, of course, more direct than the usual one created in a theatre with a proscenium arch stage. The mere fact of interacting and walking together is a very ancient way of experiencing the relationship between people and the environment. Mixed audiences are attracted and they connect.

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I talked to the late Stefano Guizzi about his role in AWSG. This bilingual actor played one of the narrators as well as several Shakespearean parts: Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the gardener in Richard 11, Stephano in The Tempest. After studying in the States, he trained with director Giorgio Strehler at the drama academy of Milan’s Piccolo Teatro. His long experience of using commedia dell’arte techniques for his role as Brighella in Strehler’s Harlequin, Servant of Two Masters allowed him, in AWSG, to hold audiences spellbound. Stefano commented on the way the different outdoor venues had impacted on his performance:

This experience has been delightful for me, overall, and particularly in regards to the wondrous locations, where we have performed. Whether at the ancient palace in Valtellina or the splendid gardens at Catullus’ Grottoes on Lake Garda, the natural setting brings Shakespeare’s references to nature, herbs, plants, ‘and their true qualities’ to life in a way that a conventional theatrical space could not. Prospero’s barren island, or the ‘luscious woodbine,’ where “sleeps Titania sometime of the night,” are brought to life, without scenery, a stage set or artificial lighting. Instead, we have live birds as natural sound effects and manage to set up an immediate relationship with the audience, since they walk together with the actor-narrators as though we – actors and audience members – were all actually losing ourselves in Shakespeare’s words. This is because the images the Bard conjures up in the mind’s eye find an immediate correspondence with the natural setting all around u.

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A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden (2017). Photo: Courtesy of Elena Savino

I asked Stefano to tell me how he felt the relationship between actor and audience actually worked in AWSG:

The play is a clever mix of Shakespeare’s words and a narrative, and this allows us (the actor-narrators) to reach out to the audience, using modern language (sometimes with bits of Italian, sometimes not, depending on the audience at that particular performance), and then projecting them, and ourselves, back into the Shakespearean scenes which are full of startling images and magnificent poetry. This greatly helps the audience’s understanding, of course, but it also pulls spectators into the game. Right from the start, I noticed that spectators become involved and even give suggestions as to which direction our acting should take, as we understand from the outset whether our audience can understand the script (many of the spectators weren’t English native speakers), or whether we need to help them understand better by using some modern English or Italian. This kind of adjustment, as I am going along, aims to allow spectators to enjoy the characters, their relationships, the situations they are living, and the words they speak.

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In the outdoor venues, where AWSG has been performed, the natural surroundings mean there is no need for an actual stage set, but the production does require costumes and stage properties. For me it was vital to engage a costume designer, who believes in sustainable production values. In Susan Marshall, a designer and a historian of costumes, I found that person. Susan’s “environmentally friendly” costumes have worked splendidly in the different locations AWSG has visited. Susan told me:

When I first read the script for AWSG I was immediately struck by the numerous references Shakespeare makes to plants, flowers and herbs in his works and I wanted to reflect this in the costume designs. Over the last two years, I have worked on several productions with director Donatella Massimilla and CETEC, creating a ‘dressing-up box’ of costumes for the prison theatre company made from upcycled clothes and fabric remnants in shades of white and beige. These costumes are by no means replicas of Elizabethan or Jacobean dress but they have characteristics, recalling the period: a ruff made from folded newspaper or bubble-wrap, a lace cuff, a corset, a hat, a cape. The choice to continue with this theme for AWSG was a natural progression both for ethical reasons and budget limitations but other practicalities also needed to be taken into account as the play is performed outside in close proximity to the audience with the actors having to do several extremely quick costume changes. The actors and musicians in this production wear a basic costume made from natural-coloured cotton or linen to which minimal but effective accessories are added as needed. I made several different hats and headdresses for the actors as these offer the possibility to change character instantly: Bottom from a Midsummer Night’s Dream wears a hat with two long donkey ears poking through the crown, the gardeners from Richard II have straw hats covered with weeds. Plants, flowers, herbs and twigs are used to decorate the costumes. The actor, playing Juliet, Titania and Ophelia, wears a simple cream dress embroidered with rosemary, pansies, fennel, rue and daisies. She adds different things to ‘become’ the different women: as Juliet she wears a simple band of ivy around her head, as Titania she is wrapped in a transparent kaftan printed with ferns and as Ophelia, in her madness, she is adorned with string and flower necklaces and a messy nest of string and ivy on her head. Alongside the nature theme for the production, I was also inspired by Shakespeare’s words – literally! I copied speeches by Iago, Romeo and Ophelia onto lightweight translucent fabric which the actors then use in a variety of ways as costume or to underline particular moments in the play.

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Still the final word must go to Stefano Guizzi, who said something fundamental regarding the outdoor locations:

Botanical gardens have a greater variety of plants and herbs than other gardens and are very useful in that they display some of the flowers and herbs that we actually name in AWSG. However, in actual fact, any well-tended garden can work perfectly, and even in wild, untamed settings we can still bring forth Shakespeare’s magic, nourishing our love and respect for the natural world.  In cities, it is like a breath of fresh air to give theatrical significance to gardens and parks. So, really, give us a patch of green and we’ll let the Bard bring it to life.

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A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden (2017). Photo: Courtesy of Elena Savino

In April 2017 we were invited to perform by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was delightful to watch AWSG unfolding in the Bard’s Great Garden at New Place, Shakespeare’s final home. As the cast, made up of Gilberta Crispino, Stefano Guizzi, Mace Perlaman, soprano Anna Jane Davies and lutenist Chris Susans, performed in that garden, something magical happened, further enhancing the bond between Shakespeare’s plays and the natural setting. Fortunately, filmmaker James Willetts caught one of the performances on camera, fragments of which can be found in the above mentioned documentary, Shakespeare, Arlecchino and Green Passion.

Instead, Ophelia Herb Woman was triggered by my interest in herbs and herbal medicine. I began researching those herb women or wise women, as they were called, who in the 16th and 17th centuries gathered herbs and flowers in order to treat many common ailments. I also read some scholarly articles devoted to Hamlet and, particularly, Ophelia’s knowledge of herbs and flowers, which were likewise useful in the play’s creation.[1] These helped me understand better the complex and sometimes divergent interpretations of the medical use and symbolism of herbs and flowers in the Renaissance period.

Elena Pellone as Ophelia. Photo: Courtesy of Liz and James Willetts

For this play, by contrast with AWSG, I wished to create a captivating story, which would underscore the difficulties women encountered in what was a rigid patriarchal society. The real life story of Mary Frith, on whom Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton based their play The Roaring Girl, sparked my imagination. Moll Cutpurse, as Mary Frith was popularly known, cross-dressed and smoked a pipe to be able to walk the streets of London on her own. She might even have played the part of Moll in one of the performances of The Roaring Girl at the Fortune theatre.  Several of Shakespeare’s female characters are brave and determined – Ophelia is a good example – but nonetheless they face what prove to be insurmountable obstacles. Like most women at the time, therefore, my protagonist struggles hard to fulfill her ambitions outside the domestic sphere.

After much indecision, I came up with the play’s storyline.Joan Field is a herb woman by day, when she treats the women in her local community, while in the afternoon she disguises herself as John. Under this male identity, she can go up to London and act with Shakespeare’s company, the King’s Men at the Globe Theatre. As John, she can break the rules of the age that forbade women to go on stage. Joan/John successfully plays a string of famous Shakespeare women, like Juliet, Viola and Catherine, but it is with Ophelia that she discovers something very deep that they share: like Joan, Ophelia possesses a knowledge of herbs and flowers.

Ophelia Herb Woman (Italian translation: Ofelia, donna delle erbe), likewise directed by Donatella Massimilla, features Gilberta Crispino, in the roles of Joan/John Field and Ophelia, with musicians Gabriele Coltri, Paola d’Alesssadro and Gianpietro Marazza. The play opened in 2018 at Milan’s second botanical gardens in Città Studi.

Ofelia, donna delle erbe, director Fabrizio Russotto, montage, Federico Russotto. Filmed during a performance at the Grottoes of Catullus, Lake Garda

Like AWSG, the play comes to life most powerfully in a natural setting. As rehearsals got underway, I worked with Donatella and Gilberta to make Shakespeare’s verses, my words, the music and song work fluidly together. Significantly, Donatella wished to involve the musicians in the dramatic action. Not only did they accompany the dramatic action, giving emphasis to certain lines, but they also played small parts.  For example, Donatella asked soprano and musician Paola D’Alessandro to play the part of Laertes, Ophelia’s brother.

For the actors, these performances in outdoor settings proved deeply significant.  Gilberta made the following insightful remarks about her experience of performing outdoors for the documentary, Shakespeare, Arlecchino and Green Passion:

It’s not the first time I have performed in places that aren’t theatres. I’ve acted in squares, prisons, archaeological sites, schools,  gardens, botanical gardens and parks. When you perform in a green setting, as was the case for A Walk in Shakespeare’s Garden and now Ophelia, Herb Woman the experience goes very deep. This is because a natural environment brings together two fundamental elements of an actor’s work: the first is the very direct relationship with the audience, given the close proximity between actor and audience members. Second, the amazing energy the performer receives from the plants, trees, insects, animals in the natural surroundings. In this way, a double flow of energy comes into being, concentrated in a group of people gathered together to celebrate a very ancient ritual linked to the birth of the theatre itself.
A performance in a green setting means a return to the very origins of theatre, where there is no need for theatrical machinery or technology, but only the founding element of any stage performance: the actor who acts and the spectator who watches, both immersed in nature. Performing in a green space also means light and the sun. Natural daylight is crucial because it manages to ‘unmask’ the performer. It strips you of everything, it takes away that halo of mystery, which the stage, with its artificial lighting, creates around the actor.
So for me it’s a real challenge, since it implies putting myself on the spot and seeking new ways of communicating, namely new expressive tools. I believe that at a time like this, characterized by rapid, substantial changes, when, for different reasons, theatres are emptying, a theatre maker‘s duty is to return to the streets and squares, to the courtyards, gardens and parks,. This move should allow her or him, to discover, and help other people discover, the importance of culture and beauty.

The original English version of Ophelia Herb Woman opened on 8 May 2022 at Milan’s Gerolamo Theatre, featuring Australian actor Elena Pellone as Joan/John Field and Ophelia, Gilberta Crispino in a prologue and lutenist Francesco Motta.  On this occasion, I directed the play.

My goal was to bring out Joan’s multiple identities, by exploring the different language registers in the play, and how these can be linked to sharp switches in the performer’s body language. It was very interesting to attempt this with Elena Pellone, who combines a classical training in Shakespearean acting, with Commedia dell’Arte techniques, learnt from her Neapolitan actor-director father. She therefore gave a superb rendition of Ophelia’s mad scene, but also embodied the many figures who populate Joan/John’s world.  She magically morphed into a male physician, who pompously depreciates Joan Field’s capability as a healer, swaggering across the stage and pontificating in upper class English, recalling the Dottore figure in Commedia dell’Arte.

At other times, she gave voice to the Cockney poison pen letter writer, who threatens Joan, while one of John’s female fans came to life thanks to a working-class Birmingham accent.  In rehearsals Elena seamlessly tapped into Joan’s complex personality, as seen in her comments on the initial scene in the market place when Joan is selling her herbs and offering remedies suitable for the women in the crowd:

But already there is something moving and more profound than a mere glossary of medicinal properties. Isolated, determined, allied to other women, Joan gives lavender to Elizabeth to assuage her melancholy so that she can eat and get out of bed again, fennel to a mother to help her have enough milk to breast feed, and rue to an unwed, desperate fifteen-year-old girl to bring about an abortion. It is a dangerous world for women.

Pellone
Elena Pellone as  Joan. Photo: Courtesy of Liz and James Willetts

I was curious to discover how the play would work in a traditional theatre, in this case, Milan’s Gerolamo theatre, a beautiful 18th century Italianate theatre, dubbed ‘the little Scala’ by many locals. To supplement the lack of a natural setting, a friend and I gathered herbs and flowers from my allotment the morning of the show and filled Joan’s large wicker basket with these. Elena made her entrance down the central aisle and through the audience, so spectators could smell and touch the herbs and flowers. When she found herself onstage she soon made the space her own, breaking the fourth wall during the performance, and therefore setting up a strong rapport with audience members.  Elena made the following remarks about performing at this venue:

The Gerolamo theatre is one of the most stunning theatres I have ever acted in. It is imposingly grand, yet invitingly intimate. Archaically beautiful, yet contemporarily embracing. And it is a perfect match for Rose’s play which spans the sublime and the prosaic, much like Shakespeare does. Rose is the Renaissance woman. An absolute multi-faceted talent: writer, director, teacher, producer. Ally. Working with her to bring out the nuances, the laughter and tears of her script, was literally a dream come true. To tread the boards in Italy, the country of my origin, and speak her lines intermingled with Shakespeare; to work with a woman on the fluidity of gender and the rejection of gender constructs; to remind us that so little has changed and we continue to fight to have our freedom. It is still a dangerous world for women.

Pellone
Elena Pellone as John. Photo: Courtesy of Liz and James Willetts
Conclusion

Out of the two plays I have discussed, Ophelia, Herb Woman is still in repertoire. In May 2022 it was included in Milan’s Beauty Week, sponsored by Erbolario, a renowned firm, specialising in herbal cosmetics. Since I wrote the play in 2018, the environmental questions which it raises have grown more urgent in the current debate on sustainability. After lockdown, too, and I am referring to Milan, there would seem to be a need on the part of audiences to attend plays in outdoor settings, such as parks and botanical gardens. This is exemplified in the current sold out lesson/performance, Botanic Queen, written and directed by Nina’s Drag Queens at the Parco Sempione.

On the one hand this “return to nature”  might be motived by a wish to steer clear of catching Covid, on the other, it might reflect a growing desire, among city dwellers, to stay close to nature and learn more about it.


Endnote

[1] See Lucile F. Newman, Charlotte F. Otten, Robert Painter and Brian Parker for useful articles on herbs and flowers in Shakespeare’s day.

Bibliography

Caponi, Paolo, Mariacristina Cavecchi, and Margaret Rose, editors. ExpoShakespeare. Il sommo gourmet, il cibo e I cannabali, Di\segni, Ledizioni, 2016.

Cavecchi, Mariacristina. “ExpoShakespeare, Food for the City,” Seconda Parte, “Exposhakespeare.”  Stratagemmi. Rivista di studi teatrali 31, 2015, pp. 177−283.

Estok, Simon C. Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011.

Newman, Lucile F.Ophelia’s Herbal.” Economic Botany, vol. 33, no.2, 1979), pp. 227−32.

Otten, Charlotte F.  “Ophelia’s ‘Long Purples’ or ‘Dead Men’s Fingers.’” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 3, 1979, pp. 397−402.

PainterRobert, and Brian Parker. “Ophelia’s Flowers Again.” Notes and Queries, vol. 41, no. 1, 1994, pp. 42–4.

Pellone, Elena. “Re: the Rehearsals for Ophelia, Herb Woman in Milan in May 2022.” Received by Maggie Rose, 5 June 2022.

Rose, Margaret.  “On a Green Shakespeare in Italy.” Plays International and Europe, vol.31, 2016, pp. 48−51.

———.  “Gardens in Shakespeare’s Day and in the 21st Century: Do We Really Need Them?” In Shakespeare, our Personal Trainer, edited by Margaret Rose, Cristina Paravano, and Roberta Situlin, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018, pp. 8−22.

Shakespeare, William. Othello, edited by M. R. Ridley. The Arden Shakespeare, 1958. 


*Maggie Rose teaches the M.A. programme, British Theatre and Performance, at Milan University. She is a playwright, dramaturg and translator. In 2019 she co-founded English Theatre Milan. In 2021 she conceived and curated the multidisciplinary project, “Play Your Part. Climate Change Theatre” (for the online seminars, book and film, see Milano University Press, 2022).   

Copyright © 2022 Maggie Rose
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