Compiled and Introduced by Ron Marasco


In his introduction, Ron Marasco writes of William Shakespeare: “Hidden beneath a surface of what seem to be purely ‘secular’ plays and poetry, is a depth of soul that literary-critics have long called ‘genius,’ but that people of faith would recognize as prayer.” Accompanying passages from The Message shine a light on works such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and The Sonnets, to reveal the prayers written into Shakespeare’s plays and hidden in the rafters of his poetry.

Ronald Marasco has been a Professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for the last 25 years.  His first book, Notes to an Actor was named by the American Library Association as an “Outstanding Academic Book of 2008.” His second book, About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos, written with Brian Shuff, has been translated into Spanish and Korean and published in Latin America and Asia. He has always been a working actor, appearing in an array of TV shows from West Wing to Bones to originating the role of Mr. Casper on Freaks and Geeks, to his recent recurring role of “Judge Grove” on Major Crimes, to playing the lead opposite screen-legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion. A native of Washington Township, New Jersey, he has a B.A in English from Fordham University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Theatre from U.C.L.A.