The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1515 Wednesday, 14 September 2005
Date: Tuesday, 13 Sep 2005 11:28:42 -0700
Subject: 16.1501 Play Recommendation
Comment: Re: SHK 16.1501 Play Recommendation
Taming of the Shrew, with "My tongue in your tail"? And I would think
they would find it unacceptably sexist.
Twelfth Night, with Malvolio reading the letter aloud, "Her C's", etc.
". . . her great P's"? Locked in a cellar and beaten?
You would have to be crazy to do those plays in the HS I attended, but
that was in the Pleistocene, so maybe things have lightened up.
MND, I have heard, is not merely the most popular Shakespeare in high
schools, but the most popular, period.
I agree that MND easily meet all your criteria, but you might also
consider A Winter's Tale (which those kids have almost certainly never
seen). It has lots of other good roles, deadly jealousy, (offstage)
death by bear, a foundling finding a good home, Autolycus, injustice and
repentance, funny rustics, an (apparently) poor girl getting a rich boy,
teen-agers with parent trouble, great comedy, a poor family rising in
the world, and a sheep-shearing fest as an excuse to use lots of singers
and dancers. Best, it also has one of Shakespeare's theatrical
super-scenes, the statue coming-to-life scene. Although it may seem more
than a little hokey on the page, onstage the statue scene always works
like magic. Of the six productions I have seen, from the RSC down to a
five-actors-in-jeans show, in every one of them the statue scene bowled
'em over. (I think of it as prime proof of Shakespeare's theatrical
genius.) WT will make 'em laugh and make 'em cry.
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