Where Are the Mothers in Shakespeare?

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly muses on maternal absences in The Tempest and other Shakespeare plays.

Pericles photo by Kevin Berne

A rare Shakespeare mother and child reunion: L-R, Sarah Nealis (Marina), Delia MacDougall (Thaisa), Ron Campbell (Cleon), and Christopher Kelly (Pericles) in PERICLES (2008); photo by Kevin Berne.

In Renaissance times the mother was the family member principally involved with her children’s education and upbringing. Yet in Renaissance drama older women were rarely represented onstage in what would obviously be one of their more sympathetic roles: that of the loving and nurturing mother. This lack is partly explained by the fact that women were not allowed to perform on the English stage: All of the female roles were played by young boys before their voices broke, so that a younger character part was obviously a better physical and vocal match. The lack of mothers in Shakespeare is notorious:  We have the noticeably absent Mrs. Prospero (of whom Prospero says merely that “thy mother was a piece of virtue”); the apparently nonexistent Queen Alonso; and the devilish witch Sycorax, Caliban’s dead mother.  Consider this lack of mother-nurturers in context with the three sisters in King Lear, Imogen in Cymbeline, Marina in Pericles, Portia and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice, Beatrice and Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Ophelia in Hamlet, Desdemona in Othello, Isabella in Measure for Measure, and Rosalind and Celia in As You Like It, characters who are all deprived of mothers. Moreover, almost all of the older women Shakespeare does represent onstage offer negative images of motherhood: Volumnia in Coriolanus; Gertrude in Hamlet; and Lady Macbeth, who says that she would have been a terrible mother if she had had the chance to be one. And as for Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, we can infer that, having herself been married at age 13, she depicts a former girl-bride who learned principally to please her husband.

Why does Shakespeare exploit this idea of the older woman as largely absent figure, or an unsympathetic one if she must be present, except for those few rare mothers who, like Hermione in The Winter’s Tale and Thaisa in Pericles, are effectively buried alive, losing their children either forever or for most of the play? (Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, for example, is forced into a 16-year banishment so that her husband can undergo a process of personal moral regeneration.) We might hypothesize about the playwright’s own life, married, as he was, to a woman eight years older than himself who reached middle age well before he did. We know that William Shakespeare spent most of his married life living in London, while his wife Anne Hathaway lived in Stratford with their children. We also know that Shakespeare’s plays were written in an extremely patriarchal period. But we can also see how useful a mother might be to a girl as, at a very young age, she comes face-to-face with the complexities of love and life.

And this is where there emerges a structural and thematic reason for the absence of mothers in Shakespeare. Aside from helping to solve the difficulty of finding boys who could plausibly play the parts of mature women, this lack allowed Shakespeare to create an important dramatic pretext: By taking away the mother (either, as in Romeo and Juliet, as a figure of real guidance or, as in many of his plays, like The Tempest, as a presence onstage at all), Shakespeare creates a gap in the young female characters’ lives, compelling them to develop that extraordinary independence and character that makes them so attractive. It is the completely sheltered and yet wise Miranda, after all, who first sees inherent nobility in the King’s son, of whom she knows nothing at all except that “nothing natural/I ever saw so noble.” Prospero might shape events in the world through his magic: But it is this young girl, Miranda, who shapes her own destiny through her heart.

The Tempest begins previews at our stunning outdoor Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda, CA, on Thursday, May 31, opens Saturday, June  2, and continues until Sunday, June 24.


Ask Philippa: THE TEMPEST Edition

Philippa Kelly by Robert Friedman

Philippa Kelly by Robert Friedman

Philippa Kelly, resident dramaturg for Cal Shakes and production dramaturg for The Tempest, shares her thoughts on the current production, and invites your questions. The Tempest runs May 30–June 24, 2012.

The Tempest is a “Romance” play, best introduced in relationship to King Lear, written six years before it in 1605.  Lear is a tragedy that leaves its audiences in a diminished Britain amidst the wasteland of loss, with only Lear’s brief reunion with his beloved Cordelia to comfort us, and even that reunion made bittersweet because both are dead by the time the curtain falls. The Tempest affords a more elegant wrap-up: Its fairytale structure—the power of Prospero’s magic; the mysterious setting somewhere in the Mediterranean; and the satisfaction of final redemption and of a wedding to close things—allows Shakespeare to tie up the play’s loose ends and to make what many have seen as his farewell to London and the stage. As Jonathan Moscone said at the Inside Scoop, the play is full of beautiful tropes—love, romance, loss, relinquishment—and we’re asked to open our hearts unguardedly to all of them via the production’s spectacle, movement, and beautiful poetry.

Are you going to see our  production of  The Tempest? 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.


Ask Philippa: Off-season Edition!

Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts and answers your questions on our upcoming 2012 season programming and about productions past.

Philippa Kelly by Jay Yamada

Photo by Jay Yamada.

Throughout his 20-year writing career, Shakespeare was fascinated with metaphors of rehearsing and scripting: the very things we do in life to re-make the past and to predict and forestall the future. No matter how we might wish it, there is no rehearsal that can prepare us for, or insulate us against, the vagaries of life itself; and there are limitless possibilities for misspeaking our intentions and mishearing what we ought to understand. This is the stuff of comedy as well as tragedy, history as well as romance.

What was Shakespeare doing in the “lost years”, the period immediately prior to 1592? What were his preoccupations when the 35-year-old author wrote Hamlet, at the end of the 16th century? Why was The Tempest one of his very last plays, even though up to that time he was in still in the full vigor of his life and production schedule? Thoughts, questions, opinions about Shakespeare or about any of his plays (they need not just concern Hamlet and The Tempest), are welcome in the “comments” section below. Also welcome are questions about George C. Wolfe and Zora Neale Hurston, whose Spunk we’ll be doing next season, as well as Noël Coward, whose Blithe Spirit is third in the Main Stage line-up.



SHREW Grove Talk Podcast

Philippa KellyDr. Kelly explains it all! Our resident dramaturg provides historical and theatrical perspective on Shana Cooper’s production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Music by production Sound Designer Jake Rodriguez. Podcast produced by Will McCandless.



Ask Philippa: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Edition

Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts and answers your questions on our 2011 productions.

Shrew publicity by Kevin Berne

Erica Sullivan (Katherine) and Slate Holmgren (Petruchio) in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW; photo by Kevin Berne.

Written when Shakespeare was in his late 20s and first flexing his muscles for the stage, The Taming of the Shrew engendered both merriment and controversy from the very start, even in a society that was accustomed to the punishment of shrews via bridles and aquatic torture as well as with words. The induction scene that begins this play—both Shakespeare’s induction and the contemporary musical one with which our company has replaced it—firmly situate Shrew as a comedy to be raucously enjoyed. And yet there is cruelty, too—the sharpness of social rejection and the harshness of public humiliation—and, in Shana Cooper’s beautiful production, there are also mysterious and poignant glimpses of love.

Are you going to see our  production of Shrew? 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.


The Verona Project Grove Talk Podcast

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly offers dramaturgical insight into our world premiere of The Verona Project. Podcast produced by Will McCandless.



Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts and answers your questions on our 2011 productions.

The Verona ProjectLoving is losing is living… Everyone knows the saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it never was…” Well, the fact is, if we love something, we HAVE to let it go, whether we want to or not. It won’t stay the same; neither will you. Whoever desired someone because they hugged tighter than anyone else? Or because they said, “I need you” more often than anyone else? Love needs freedom, and, at its most basic level, it feeds on unfulfilled desire. Love is based on longing, on the glimpse of cherished memories, on the vision of possibility … and love is, as everyone knows, the most varietal of blossoms. That’s what makes it fun to talk about.

The Verona Project uses as its memory bank The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare’s play about love, friendship, and broken trust. Every love is in its own way new, and yet as ancient as the sun and moon. Denhert and her cast take us on a trip through love and loss, using music as the wings to whisk us to heights of giddyness and delight.

Are you going to see our production of Verona? 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.


The Return of “Ask Philippa”!

Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for Cal Shakes, shares her thoughts on our 2011 productions.

Philippa Kelly and Joel Sass by Jay YamadaTitus 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.



“Everyone’s a Critic,”by Laura Hope


Everyone’s a critic:
Wilde, Chekhov and their detractors, otherwise known as “mildew.”

Ah, my dear, gentle reader! I must say, I have been trying to balance a relationship with two very  demanding men this summer, and I am exhausted: Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekhov.

How can they be so demanding when they are both dead? It doesn’t matter, gentle reader, men are men. Dead, alive, or somewhere in between, they are time consuming. Men in the theater are even worse. I dramaturged Oscar’s An Ideal Husband, and now I am dramturging Anton’s Uncle Vanya. Let me assure you, gentle reader, these men were–and are–a handful. They have relentlessly kept me up for many a sleepless night this summer. My grandmother Leadlay (God rest her) used to always say, “Just remember, dear, men get older, but they never grow up. Never.” She usually whispered this to me while my grandfather was in the process of doing something extremely silly, or, more usually, something to attract attention to himself. My grandfather was a natural born actor and the world was his stage. He never met a stranger, and was always “acting out” in ways that won him many fans, and completely wore out my grandmother, who often found his antics a little embarrassing.

Grandma’s wisdom is doubly true of men in the theatrical profession: Many never grow up. Both Oscar and Anton were quite a handful in their day, and working on their plays still keeps you on your toes. I mean, really, just try to imagine the lives of Constance Wilde (Oscar’s wife) or Olga Knipper (Anton’s). Oscar led a double life that eventually ruined not just his own, but also Constance’s. On the other hand, poor, handsome Anton, ever the somewhat emotionally unavailable, constant bachelor, played the field for years leaving many a broken heart. When he finally settled down (predictably with a younger woman), he promptly died four years later from TB after a long, sad goodbye.

Oscar and Anton were contemporaries. Oscar was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1854. Anton was born in Taganrog, Russia in 1860. Oscar died penniless from cerebral meningitis in 1900, in exile in France, living under the name Sebastian Melmoth. Anton died in 1904 in his wife’s arms after downing a glass of champagne and announcing in German to his wife (of German descent) and his doctor (also German), “Ich sterbe” (I am dying). He was at a spa in Badenweiler, Germany at the time, trying to recover from the tuberculosis that killed him. Both men, so close in age, and such colossal geniuses, were like meteors: They flamed brightly and far too briefly across our horizon, but oh, how they shined!

Oscar and Anton never met, which is just as well. I have the sneaking suspicion Chekhov would not have liked Wilde. Chekhov believed in gentlemanly manners and did not approve of acting out in public, and Wilde was always and forever acting out. Wilde was the kind of guy you could party with till the wee hours of the morning, and have a great time. The next day, however, you might be a bit mortified with yourself, and vow not return anymore of his calls–or call him–ever again. He was like the Pied Piper of bad behavior in that way, I think. Chekhov, on the other hand, was the kind of guy you’d fall hopelessly in love with and quietly pine over for years. You’d never dare tell him because even if you did, you’d get no discernible or satisfactory reaction from him. He’d cough (you know, because of the TB), smile sadly, and apologize for your misplaced affection without actually naming what he was apologizing for. Anton could have been a character in Jane Austen’s Persuasion–there’s a lot of pining in that novel. Better still, he could have been one of the tall, handsome, unknowable bachelors in a Gothic novel by a Brontë sister. More than one lady worked herself into an unrequited love melancholia over the tall, beautiful, distant Chekhov. (Personally, I think pining is underrated in our instant-gratification-based society. I like to pine. Anticipation is so much better than reality, anyway. Pining is possibility. Reality is disappointing.)

Sooo, Oscar and Anton were very different men. Yet working on plays by these two all in the same summer has raised some interesting parallels in my mind: about the difficult life of a writer, about the nature of fame and genius, about humor (as both were known for their humorous tales), about dying young, and about the relationship between the artist and the critics.

Unfortunately, not everyone valued Wilde and Chekhov as playwrights in their lifetimes, although we speak of them today in reverent tones. There were no such phrases like “Chekhovian” or “Wildean” in the critical pantheon of pat comparisons with which to skewer younger, less established writers. At the time, they were the less established writers, and they were the ones receiving the skewering. Chekhov would probably be astonished at how he is revered today. He was a humble man, and always the first to point out what he perceived as the failings of his own work. Oscar would not be surprised at his current status at all. Oscar would wonder what the hell took us all so long to recognize his genius.

It is a wonder either man continued writing plays at all when one considers the public beating they took in the press. Let us, gentle reader, peruse a few examples. I will give the names of the odious critics, when available, as they deserve to be derided, albeit posthumously. They should not have been so rude to my Oscar and my Anton. Dramaturgs love their writers, quite passionately. We’ll go to the mat for them. Dramaturgs do not like their writers to take a beating. We take it personally. We hold grudges. We use our pens to get even. Put on your flak jacket, gentle reader, it’s about to get ugly!

When An Ideal Husband opened in 1895, certain English critics lined up to say mean things about Oscar the Irishman and his play. H.G. Wells (yes, the guy who wrote The Time Machine) wrote a review for the Pall Mall Gazette in which he opined,

So much for the play. It is not excellent, indeed, after Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Woman of No Importance, it is decidedly disappointing. But worse have succeeded, and it was at least excellently received. It may be this melodramatic touch, this attempt at commonplace emotions and the falling off in epigram, may be merely a cynical or satirical concession to the public taste…But taking it seriously…the play is unquestionably very poor.


Notice that not only does Wells slam the play, he slams the audience for liking it. Interestingly, he did not sign his review. It was published anonymously, which shows he didn’t have the “oysters” to own his opinions. Too bad his time machine wasn’t real; he needed to be beamed away.

A.B. Walkey also had nasty things to say in Speaker: “Mr. Wilde’s play will not help the drama forward a single inch, nor–though that is a comparatively unimportant matter–will it, in the long run, add to Mr. Wilde’s reputation…the fact remains that Mr. Wilde’s work is not only poor and sterile, but essentially vulgar.” Walkey also didn’t use his full name, publishing as A.B.W. I think we can all get a giggle now over Walkey’s entirely anal, uptight prognostications. Nowadays, we all know the name Oscar Wilde, but who gives a cat poo about A.B. Walkey? “Who,” you ask? Exactly, gentle reader. “Who” indeed!

Even William Archer, one of the premier English critics of the day, was a real jerk about Oscar and An Ideal Husband. He wrote that the play, “…does not positively lack good things, but simply suffers from a disproportionate profusion of inferior chatter.” He may have been the premier critic of his day, but only theater historians remember the name William Archer, and we don’t remember it without ambivalence. As a critic, Archer did not positively lack good insights, but his work suffered from a disproportionate profusion of inferior blah-blah-blah. (Yes, I did wear an evil grin as I wrote that last sentence.)

Chekhov also took a beating when he first introduced his plays to the stage. Tales of the disaster that was the opening night of The Seagull in St. Petersburg are the stuff of theatrical legend. Unfortunately, they are true. Audiences and critics alike lined up to hate the play and heap abuse on the author. Chekhov ran home in the middle of opening night. A friend later found him curled in a fetal position in bed where he cried out, “I implore you, no lights! I don’t want to see anybody. I only want to tell you this: let them call me a——– if I ever write for the theater again.” Thankfully, he did.

Poor Chekhov even had to endure negative criticism from his good friend and idol, Tolstoy (yes, the author of War and Peace). Tolstoy read The Seagull and wrote to Chekhov, “It is absolutely worthless: It is written like Ibsen’s drama…You know that I don’t like Shakespeare, but your drama, dear Anton Pavlovich, is even worse than his.” Tolstoy may have been a great novelist, but he was a nut job. Keep in mind that this is the man who also thought that the only way to improve the human soul was to give up carnal desire and quit having sex. He wins a Darwin award for that one. (And he didn’t like Shakespeare? See what I mean? Total wingnut!)

The point is, gentle reader, Oscar and Anton succeeded despite the drama critics. I wonder how many other Chekhovs or Wildes we have lost, who never wrote again due to the snarky opinions of some small-minded cretin with a poison pen and a printing press? As a dramaturg, I’ve seen first-hand the crater left in the soul of more than one extremely talented, emerging playwright after they were napalmed in the press by a critic who thinks every new play should be judged against the masterpieces of a golden oldie like Wilde or Chekhov. They don’t seem to realize that a writer is not born to this stature: One becomes a Wilde or a Chekhov, usually after one is dead, and in spite of what the papers wrote of your plays when they first premiered. Thank heaven Oscar and Anton had enough inner fortitude to keep at it. Imagine all we would have lost if they had taken the criticisms to heart and quit writing. I think I’ll give my beloved Anton the last word here. He once wrote of the critics who initially ranted and raged against The Seagull, “They are not men, but a kind of mildew.”

Till later, gentle reader,

I am ever your,

Dr. Laura, Resident Dramaturg and Shoe Aficionado

P.S. I bought 2 new pairs of shoes at the Macy’s 4th of July sale. They are fabulous.


Will Dramaturg for Shoes….


(This week marks the blog return of both our favorite Intern, Derek Smith–now a full-fledged Cal Shakes employee–and our resident dramaturg Dr. Laura Hope. Derek’s blog will come tomorrow. But for now, it pleases me to no end to welcome back Dr. Laura, blogger extraordinaire. –Stefanie)

I’m back. Yippeee!

Yes, I have returned, gentle reader. Although I have been languishing in a Louisiana swamp for the last ten months, I have returned home to Cal Shakes for some dramaturgical high jinks. After all, nobody wants to stay in New Orleans during the summer anyway: too hot. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to miss the first two and half months of hurricane season? So, coming to Berkeley/Orinda to dramaturg An Ideal Husband, Uncle Vanya, give Grove Talks, and write the dramaturgy pages in the programs for the season provided the promise of a very lovely escape. It’s good to be home.

It took me four days to drive from New Orleans to Berkeley. I drove through it all: thunder, lightening, pouring rain, hail, three tornado warnings, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and one small-town, Louisiana sheriff with a Napoleon complex and a sneaky-a** speed trap. I hate him. I mean I really, really hate him. A pox upon him, gentle reader.

My car was entirely loaded down with all the necessary items for a summer of dramaturgy fun for Cal Shakes. The inventory goes like this:

Shakespeare’s Collected Works
Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare
Marjorie Garber’s Shakespeare After All
110 other books for research and writing purposes
2 computers
1 printer
2 boxes of paper
10 research notebooks
2 file boxes
4 research journals
3 suitcases of clothes for that unpredictable NorCal weather
4 coats of assorted thickness and length for unpredictable tech week weather at the Bruns
4 scarves
2 pairs of gloves
5 hats
1 hip scarf, veil, and zills (don’t ask)
1 yoga mat
2 sets of sheets
2 sets of towels
2 blankets
5 pillows (I can’t sleep unless my bed looks like a Turkish bordello)
2 boxes of kitchen stuff
1 bag of cleaning supplies (cleanliness truly is next to Godliness)
1 cat (my trusty Tallulah) in her kitty carrier
1 bottle of kitty Valium for the road trip. (Technically, she takes the pills, but let’s face it, they’re really for me.)
3 Cal Shakes nametags
21 shades of lipstick
32 pairs of shoes

That’s right, I said it: 32 pairs of shoes for a 12-week stay in California. And let me tell you, it took forever to narrow it down to 32. I debated. I agonized. I packed and repacked. I couldn’t bring all the shoes, but how to choose the small fraction that would travel with me to dramaturg at Cal Shakes? It was awful. And I may say, since I have been here now for 2 weeks, I dearly miss some of those shoe-friends I left behind in New Orleans. My feet weep for them. How could I have left my pointy-toed, vibrant green, straw-and-faux-gator high heels in New Orleans? Why did I leave behind my strappy, red, patent leather Isaac Mizrahi 4-inch pumps? I REALLY wanted them yesterday, and they weren’t there. What if they are blown away by a storm and I never see them again? How will I go on? It’s too awful to contemplate. I miss them more than the last three men I dated–I don’t miss those guys at all. Pining for my missing shoes for 12 weeks, however, may just kill me.

The rest of the astonishingly huge laundry list aside, why, you may ask, do I need 32 pairs of shoes to dramaturg at Cal Shakes? I maintain that it is entirely necessary.

There are those shockingly ill-informed individuals who say it is an illness–an addiction, if you must put a label on it. If so, I have no intention of getting well. I am the Imelda Marcos of Dramaturgy.

Jon Moscone actually used my shoe obsession as an example in Ideal Husband rehearsals this week. He was explaining to Sarah Nealis how it was possible for her character (Mabel Chiltern) to be in a serious conversation with her handsome boyfriend (Lord Goring, played by Elijah Alexander) and suddenly be completely distracted from him by a diamond brooch on the floor behind a divan. Jon told her, “It’s like our own Laura Hope. She’s one of the most serious people I know. But if she’s talking to you and sees a pair of shoes she likes, forget it. It’s over. She’ll forget all about you and the conversation because it’s all about the shoes. She immediately loses IQ points and it’s instantaneous dumb blonde. So, these things do happen.”

What could I say? I cannot object when it’s true. Jon knows me too well. And he’s not the only one. I looked over, and my dear friend L. Peter Callender was silently laughing so hard into his script that he had tears in his eyes. Elijah was giving me that smirk of his–he just doesn’t get it. Poor man, I pity him. But Peter gets it. He knows about the shoe thing. He’s wise enough never to question me about it, and he doesn’t judge. He also knows it took two hours to unload my car when I got here, probably due to the shoes. Like a good friend should, he accepts my shoes and me just as we are. What are friends for?

Anyway, the example worked. Sarah completely understood the point Jon was making, and the scene is really great. I wonder how many pairs of shoes she has? I mean, she really seemed to understand …

You know who else would understand? Oscar Wilde. He probably wouldn’t want any dramaturg working on one of his plays that needed less than 32 pairs of shoes to get the job done. Oscar was into Aestheticism. He believed in fashion decadence. After all, Aubrey Beardsley was his illustrator. How much more stylish can you get? Oscar was a dandy. He believed that beauty was entirely necessary and as a result, life should imitate art, not the other way around. He loved fashion, and the more outrageous it was, the better. If you read Richard Ellmann’s biography of Oscar Wilde, you will understand what I mean. You don’t even have to read the whole book (though you should, gentle reader), just look at the pictures. Those photos provide a veritable fashion spread of Oscar in all his glory. There he is in all his fashion-fabulousness: in short velvet pants and patent-leather ballet slippers, in a fur coat, in a white linen suit and panama hat worthy of Tennessee Williams’ “Big Daddy,” or in a silk smoking jacket reclining on a divan covered in Persian rugs and bear skins, in a tuxedo, in a Dracula-esque cape, a natty pin-stripe suit and bowler hat, and finally, in drag as Salomé (for his play by the same name), bowing in front of the severed head of John the Baptist while wearing dangly earrings and a long, flowing wig. Oh Oscar, how I love you! Would that we had lived during the same time period. He would have loved my beautiful straw and faux croc, vibrant green, pointy-toed pumps I so foolishly left back in New Orleans. He would not have let me leave the house without them. We would have been soul mates, Oscar and I. We both like pretty men and pretty shoes. We could have gone shoe shopping together! Viva Oscar!

And another thing, Oscar would totally have understood my motto: Will Dramaturg for Shoes.

Till later, gentle reader,
I am ever your,
Dr. Laura, Resident Dramaturg and Shoe Aficionado