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In The Understanders guided discussions of Shakespearean plays, our goal is to truly comprehend what every word and every line in a selected play actually means. When we know what the lines mean, we not only see the plot more clearly, but we see the nuances, the threads that tie the entire piece together, the artistry, the subtext (what's not said), the underlying structure. And when we see everything more clearly, the breadth and depth of the play is even more astounding than we dared to think.

Discussions run twelve to sixteen weeks, plus a film or two. We meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ben Jonson portrait

Ben Jonson (1572–1637), the self-proclaimed poet laureate of England, wrote that there are three levels of playgoers.

Spectators laugh at the actor, not at the joke -- they laugh at the physical antics, while the joke goes right over their heads.

Pretenders pretend to get the joke.

Understanders understand every line, jokes and all.