Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 170. Monday, 15 March 1993.
Date: Monday, 15 Mar 1993 13:57:36 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 4.0143 R: College Productions *TGV*
Comment: RE: SHK 4.0143 R: College Productions *TGV*
A belated response to Jeff Nyhoff's question about college productions
There was a production done here at Cornell College a few years ago --
rather unsatisfactory, I thought. I think the problem with the
production here... and perhaps A reason why the play isn't done more
often is the difficulty in coming to terms with the gender issues in
First, there are only three female roles, and most college programs
are looking for more roles for women than that.
Secondly, those roles that do exist for women are a LOT less
interesting than, say, Kate or Bianca.
Third, the play's "sexism" (real or imagined -- I'd like NOT to open
that particular can of worms again!) is only slightly less virulent
than in *Shrew*, and *TGV* has the disadvantage of not being
"canonical"... I confess I've never actually read the play, and
wouldn't know it at all if I hadn't seen the production. Audiences
are more willing to look past potential pitfalls in plays they believe
(or are told to believe) are "classics"... thus, *Shrew* and
*Merchant* get performed frequently. But the "second rung" plays
don't fare so well -- and *TGV* joins *All's Well* and perhaps
*Measure for Measure* in the list of those that seem to be performed
infrequently relative to their qualities.
Just a thought... I'd like to hear more from those who know the play
better than I.