Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts on our 2011 productions.
Titus Andronicus, when it first hit the boards in the early 1590s, was a raging success, threatening to steal audiences away from the bear-baiting that was one of Elizabethan England’s favorite spectator sports. This bloody, fast-moving play is Shakespeare’s contribution to revenge tragedy, a formula of wrongdoing, revenge, and inevitable bloodshed that was as popular in the playwright’s time asLaw and Order is today. But even in his salad days, Shakespeare succeeded in making this play more complex than the conventional genre from which it emerged: As well as a rollicking grisly ride, Titus Andronicus gives us questions about loyalty, statescraft, and the power of words to shape deeds and lives.
Are you going to see our production of Titus? Do you have questions or comments about the production’s themes, creative choices, or anything else? Please leave them in the comments, and I’ll be sure to respond.
Pictured above right: Philippa with Titus director Joel Sass; photo by Jay Yamada.