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Shakespeare Plays Compete in March Madness

Theatreworks logoIn honor of March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, Theatreworks in Colorado Springs, Colo., has developed a game applying William Shakespeare's plays to brackets. Players fill out the bracket to determine Shakespeare's best play.

Contestants will go head to head with Stephen Booth, whom the Theatreworks website describes as "one of the smartest, most well-regarded Shakespeareans in the world" (he is author of several prominent critical essays and books on Shakespeare). Booth, through his brackets, will reveal "The Best Play Shakespeare Ever Wrote."

Only 32 plays made the tournament, and these are placed in four regions: British Isles, Greece and Rome, Continental, and Mostly Italian. Snubbed were The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and the three parts of Henry VI (Oh, come on! Henry IV, Part Two ahead of Henry VI-3?). Contestants will have some tough choices in the first round, such as Much Ado About Nothing facing off against The Tempest in the Mostly Italian region, and a potential second-round matchup of Henry IV, Part One vs King Lear in the British Isles region (if Lear gets past Henry V in the opening round). Meanwhile, A Midsummer Night's Dream seems destined to make the Final Four out of the Greece and Rome region.

The prize for matching Booth's picks closest will be bragging rights and a bust of The Bard, plus drinks with Theatreworks' Artistic Director Murray Ross and Exectuvie Director Drew Martorella before the theater's Shakespeare Festival in the summer.

Deadline for entry of brackets is March 26. You can download the bracket (to play or just enjoy) at and e-mail the filled-out form to

March 21, 2013

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