Archive - January, 2011

Pericles–A Most Theatrical Event (Program Notes for Mary Zimmerman’s Production)

January 30 0 Comments Category: On Shakespeare

Whenever a discussion turns to Pericles, critics are always at pains to delineate the various problems associated with the play—that Shakespeare had no part in the writing the first two acts, that the piece is devoid of fully-fleshed characters, that the title character is more sinned against than sinning, thus depriving him of any tragic […]

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

January 30 0 Comments Category: On Shakespeare

Few Shakespearean productions have run the gamut of critical deconstruction as has A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Over the years it has been interpreted as a light-hearted, fluffy frolic, a somber meditation on sexual politics, and an examination of latent violence, even bestiality.  At its heart, however, it is a mature, complex play about the nature […]

Henry IV, Part One

January 30 0 Comments Category: On Shakespeare

The label history play is almost a misnomer when used to describe Shakespeare’s plays about the English kings, not only because he played fast and loose with the facts but also because the term conjures up in the popular mind the image of a historical documentary.  In fact, these plays run the gamut of the […]

Henry IV, Part Two

January 29 0 Comments Category: On Shakespeare

“Then you perceive the body of our kingdom How foul it is, what rank diseases grow, And with what danger, near the heart of it.” These lines, spoken by King Henry IV, symptomize the uneasiness that pervades this play.  In fact, the play opens with the entrance of Rumor (a role expanded in this production) […]