JASON AND THE BARD by Kate Gilmore


Age Range: 12 & up
Email this review


 A third from Gilmore (Enter Three Witches, 1990) depicts the players behind a Shakespeare festival--eager neophytes, egotistical professional actors, feuding directors. Apprentice Jason knows he'll be given only small parts, but still finds the summer exhilarating--coaching other actors in their lines, understudying a major role, making props, leading a life of quiet exhaustion. He falls for petite, powerful Penny, dallies with neurotic Elena, and becomes the pawn in the undoing of another player's acting block. Mostly, though, Jason is enjoying the words of the Bard and the chance to be around others who also love the language. There are no ordinary folk here, only a cast that shares the same aspirations and affectations. Dialogue between apprentices and others is nearly interchangeable; a subplot about an anonymous prankster is obvious and badly paced, and has a lame outcome. Few readers will have enough familiarity with Shakespeare to enjoy the verbal sparring and the angst; those who do know him aren't likely to have much patience with the rest of the story. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-62472-X
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993