The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1515  Wednesday, 14 September 2005

From: 		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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.

Bob Projansky

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