Montanan You Should Know: Dr. Gretchen Minton

Dr. Gretchen MintonGretchen Minton is a Professor in Montana State University’s English Department, where she teaches classes on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, drama, the Bible, and other topics. She has edited many works by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and she is the dramaturg for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and other theatre companies. Her new book is entitled Shakespeare in Montana: Big Sky Country’s Love Affair with the World’s Most Famous Author.

skull on desk with book

The thing most people get wrong about Shakespeare is: that they think his works are autobiographical. 

My favorite Shakespeare play is: King Lear.

My least favorite Shakespeare play is: The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Shakespeare gets all the love, but if I could recommend some of his contemporaries to readers, I would suggest: Thomas Middleton (especially The Revenger’s Tragedy) and Christopher Marlowe.

If I were to recommend a good entry point to Shakespeare for beginners, it would be: Use a good, clear edition of a play (like the Folger edition) and read it while watching the play performed or read aloud.

Montanans should pay attention to Shakespeare because: he was a huge hit with the mountain men, miners, women’s reading groups, and so many others in Montana’s history, and he continues to delight people across our region with wonderful performances by Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. 

My idea of the ideal winter’s day is: crisp blue skies and snow for cross-country skiing with my family, followed by reading next to a fire.

I think the best film adaptation of Shakespeare is: For foreign language, Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. In English, Richard Loncraine’s Richard III or Julie Taymor’s Titus.

I know there are some who think William Shakespeare may have been the pseudonym of someone else, and to them I say: There is no reliable historical evidence to support such conspiracy theories. Take a look at Jim Shapiro’s book Contested Will for more information.

The thing I am most grateful for this winter is: the health and safety of my loved ones.
My friends would say I am: passionate about theatre, literature, and the outdoors.

The thing about my book Shakespeare in Montana, from University of New Mexico Press, that I am most proud of is: the way it reflects research that we did in Montana—from large to small archives to site visits to personal interviews.

Shakespeare in Montana

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