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Showing posts from February, 2018

What does RYS do in the classroom?

Shakespeare comes with a lot of baggage. Elitism. Middle-aged people going to matinees in otherwise unremarkable rural towns. Academia. An actor's dream role.

In chatting with performers, Scott and I hear about women of colour being told they shouldn't bother auditioning for Shakespearean plays, because they will never get cast as the lead. At the same time, people love to talk about how Shakespeare's work is universal. Shakespeare's friend Ben Jonson, eulogising him in the First Folio (1623) said that "He was not of an age, but for all time." It's certain that stories of betrayal, corruption, and love are universal, but it seems like that universality applies more strongly to one group than others. When Shakespeare wrote, there may not have been words for homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, ableism and the rest of the ways society creates and maintains oppression, but those things were very much built into the stories he told. We can't keep t…