Theater review: Titus Andronicus by Independent Shakespeare Company (spoiler-free)

Last night, Lisa and I went down to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to see Independent Shakespeare Company’s free performance of Titus Andronicus.

For those who have followed this Project, you know how much I love what Indy Shakes does. I dig their diversity and inclusion, in terms of casting, staffing, use of language, and audience outreach. They are pretty much the antithesis of what I hate: Museum Shakespeare… their playfulness with the text–unafraid to make comic and topical references to the crowd–in addition to their use of direct address to, and from within, the audience, make for a wonderful experience that brings 400 year-old texts alive.

And those who know me know that I love this play. I think it’s the work of a brilliant young playwright doing his damnedness to make his audience notice him. And I just find the thing fascinating–thus my use of it in my current Masters thesis…and someday I want to direct the damn beast.

Some might then assume that this would make a positive review of this a fait accompli … a done deal. But with expectations so high, and such investment so personal, the opposite could be a risk.

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Podcast 165: Interview Special — Melissa Chalsma and David Melville of Independent Shakespeare Company

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This week’s podcast ends an exceedingly long drought, but your patience is rewarded with a jumbo econo-sized interview with Melissa Chalsma and David Melville, the Artistic and Managing Directors, respectively, of Los Angeles’ Independent Shakespeare Company. We talk a bit about the upcoming season which will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus.

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Titus Andronicus: A History of Violence [INFOGRAPHIC]

As I’m out of town this weekend, I don’t have a lot of time to write, but I do have time to release a new infographic on my Teachers Pay Teachers page! And what screams new infographic like a bit o’ the ol’ ultraviolence, right?

And what says ultraviolence more than Titus Andronicus

 

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Titus Andronicus: A History of Violence

After Good Tickle Brain‘s brilliant Mya Gosling released her Titus Andronicus death clock, it got me thinking what a Titus timeline might look like. While hers definitely conveys the over-the-top-to-the-point-of-nervous-laughter-ness of Titus Andronicus, I thought she had left off a few things.

I don’t have her artistic flair, but mine’s got more death (and rape)…

Titus Andronicus: A History of Violence (jpeg; thumbnail)

[download the pdf (507 kb)]

My Gossip, Report

The Merchant of Venice is a play about Shylock. Wrong. But that’s what people think.

Shylock is an evil Jew. Well, maybe. But that’s certainly what people IN the play say.
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Brother, Can You Lend Me a Hand (or two)?

Funny thing.  While sifting through The Third Part of Henry the Sixth on a second go, I found a couple of references to hands that hearken back to Titus Andronicus and its use (and abuse) of limbs.  If you remember Titus, Lavinia’s rapists cut off her hands (as well as her tongue) to prevent her from implicating them.  Later, under a false offer to release Titus’ two imprisoned sons, Titus, his brother Marcus, and Titus’ other son Lucius, all offer to cut off their hands to win the release.  Titus sacrifices his hand to the villain Aaron, but wins no release of his sons.

As in Titus, the references here also refer to mutilation, and here specifically self-mutilation.
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Attend the Tale of Bill Walthall (or Sweeney Todd, or Titus Andronicus)

As we end the bloodbath that is Titus Andronicus, as we end our second month of our three-year journey, I want to thank all of you.
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Podcast 10: Titus Andronicus Production Concepts

This week’s podcast includes a proposed casting for a production of  Titus Andronicus, as well as a couple of production concepts.  Also, our monthly casting contest.

Links:

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Fathers and Sons (and Mother and Sons… and Father and Daughter)

A little over a week ago, we discussed the concept of brotherhood in Titus Andronicus (to no real conclusion, if memory serves).  Today, let’s take a look at another kind of familial relationship: parent and child.
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