Round-up of 2018

Here is a purr of fortune’s, sir, or of fortune’s 
cat — but not a musk-cat — that has fallen into the 
unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he 
says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the 
carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, 
ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his 
distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to 
your lordship.

— Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well

It has truly been a fortunate year. From my brother’s wedding to a brilliant research trip tp the Huntington Library, not to mention a relatively dry and warm fall and winter in Portland, I am sure I’m at the zenith of Fortune’s Wheel, and so steady myself for rougher waters ahead. In reflection on a great deal of good news and satisfying work, this post cobbles together a few year-end notes.

Just a few of my favorite things I saw this year, including Everybody and Magellanica (Artists Repertory Theatre); Henry V, Romeo & Juliet, and Snow in Midsummer (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Strangest Yellow (Fertile Ground Festival); Wakey Wakey (Portland Playhouse); Uncle Vanya (PETE); Macbeth (Shaking the Tree); Silent Sky (Pacific University); and She is Fierce (Enso Theatre).
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WIL Festival 5.1: “The Taming of the Shrew”

¶ Staging a performance of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” means managing ethics of conscription and of resistance. The role of Kate is appealing to many because she offers a full-throated and resistant character that third-wave Feminisms connect to, can conscript and inhabit. That is, until the last act and the infamous speech where she encourages the other brides, like herself, to put their hand under their husbands’ feet. How can a production recover Kate from being flattened by what we would now label as Stockholm Syndrome? Need we?

From left: Jessica Hirschhorn (Katherina), and Michael C. Jordan (Patruchio).

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