In class we had Bare Backstage Productions presenting 50 Shades of Shakespeare. The four actors presented 10 scenes, 19 characters in a variety of combinations, all drawn by you, the audience. Interspersed we saw improv games and anonymous secrets from the audience members. Below is a list of the plays featured in 50 Shades of Shakespeare with the actors who portrayed them in each class.
Romeo and Juliet: Romeo AM-Kate, PM-Mitch; Juliet: AM and PM - Ken
Taming of the Shrew: Petruchio: AM and PM-Tanisha, Kate: AM-Mitch, PM-Kate
Julius Caesar: Portia: AM-Mitch, PM-Tanisha; Brutus: AM-Ken, PM-Kate
The Tempest: Miranda: AM-Kate, PM-Ken; Ferdinand: AM-Tanisha, PM-Mitch
Richard III: Richard: AM and PM-Ken ; Anne: AM and PM-Tanisha
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Helena: AM-Kate, PM-Ken; Lysander: AM-Tanisha, PM-Kate; Hermia: AM and PM-Mitch; Demetrius OUR GUESTS FROM CLASS!: AM-Alec, PM-Tyler
Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice: AM and PM-Tanisha; Benedick: AM-Mitch, PM-Kate
Answer one of the following questions.
1. As Kate mentioned in the AM Class, one of the joys of performing 50 Shades of Shakespeare is the ability to "ditch the baggage" or lose the context in which these scenes live within their plays. Research a bit more about the play of one of the scenes you saw. What is the context of this scene? How does this context change your interpretation of the scene?
2. Were any of the scenes you saw one you read or have seen before? If so, how did the modern adaptation of the scene aid or detract from the understanding of Shakespeare's text?
3. The improvisational nature of this production brings a unique experience for the actors and the audience. Connect your chosen field, major, or occupation to the improvisational vs. scripted nature of this production. How are they similar? Different?
4. Many of the scenes chose a modern setting. Choose one scene from 50 shades of Shakespeare. Imagine you were the director. How would you change the setting of this scene? How do you see this change of setting to enhance the storytelling of this moment in the play?
5. Through the improvisational nature of casting this show, many of the roles contained gender bending. How did this unconventional change in roles redefine the relationships of the characters? How do you see it benefitting or detracting from the stories, keeping in mind the Elizabethan actors and casting?
6. This production shares similarities to a variety of content from this semester. Choose another piece of content and make connections.