Introducing the Shrew Project
So we’ve not been so great at blogging for a while. Actually *I* have not been so great at blogging for a while. Friend and cohort Shawn Paonessa astutely observed that there was a distinct dropoff in blog posts once I started my PhD program. It’s a pretty simple cause and effect relationship here. I’m reading and writing enough and this blog falls to the bottom of the pile pretty easily.
We have some ideas for that, which I won’t get into now, but expect that we’ll be changing this blog up in big ways later this year. The first change is what we’re going to do with The Taming of the Shrew
. Not only have I lived with this show for well over a year in the cutting of it (I essentially killed off a lot of the Shakespearean repetitiveness and removed more minor characters so that we could get the cast down to 9 and the whole piece down to a zippy straight 90 minutes), but I also used the show for a paper for one of my classes in the spring. In short I laid forth a plan as to how to take a feminist approach to this contested script that would stress the necessity of mutuality and equality in our relationships. I argue the urgency of the theorist-practitioner as they are too often regarded as separate things. I contend that we can take on serious things like gender roles/norms through comedy for serious ends via the grotesque, irony, ambiguity, maintaining tensions and even silences.
If anyone is really that interested, I have a full 25 or so page paper that goes into all of this in detail. I’d be happy to let you read it. I provided to the cast as dramaturgy and for them to get a feel for where I am going with this.
One aspect of my approach is also stressing the collaborative spirit in what we do, in equality at every level, and the importance of documenting this work from as many sides as possible. Hopefully in the end we can compile all of this business and see what we have. I may also incorporate a lot of this in the lobby/preshow experience – blogs from the cast and crew, candid photos snapped in rehearsal, sketches and so on.
The cast is already enjoying this. I saw lots of cameras in use at Sunday’s rehearsal when actors were off stage. My first “official” contribution is from our Stage Manager, Krystalle Voecks
, who snapped this while we were all on break Saturday. This is Katrina Stevenson, our Kate, looking like a bad girl. I particularly like the NO sign over her head. Great composition on this shot for a candid, and I’m always a fan of Hipstamatic shots. 🙂
So, watch this space, I already have other things in the pipeline to post later.
In the meantime, if you’re a reader and have specific requests of “backstage” type things or aspects of the process you’d like to know about, leave us a comment! We’ll do our best in taking suggestions. 🙂