Rethinking the Bard

In a summer season full of Shakespeare, it's important to discern the reasons behind a theater company's choice of Elizabethan programming. Some groups produce the Bard so they can offer challenging acting roles and easily marketed entertainment. At these shows, you can expect the text and tone to be traditional, so the audience's enjoyment of the piece is based on an appreciation for the story line and its execution by the actors and director. At the other end of the spectrum are the groups that go high-concept, believing that Shakespeare's tales could be better expressed through a change in time period, place, circumstances, etc. With these shows, their success largely rests on how well the group integrates its vision into the show's framework while also proving that the change was a valid one. (Good leads cannot save, or excuse, a Hamlet performed on a spaceship.)

The CRY HAVOC Company calls its current season the 2005 Season of Questionable Distinctions. Their productions are "focused on issues of the intersection of gender and culture

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