Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sassy Girls

In the hallways of every Shakespearean acting company, female actors mourn the dearth of women's parts in the Bard's canon.

Women were not permitted to be actors in the Elizabethan period, so he focused on the fellas.

However, the roles he did write for women are good ones. The female characters tend to be smarter and far more sensible than their male counterparts.

Consider "Romeo and Juliet," wherein Romeo runs to Friar Laurence in a state of histrionic panic and falls to floor in a crying jag. The boy can't put two clear thoughts together and one longs for the friar to knock some sense into his noggin.

Meanwhile, back at the Capulet home, Juliet, all alone, talks herself out of the terrifying prospect of faking her death and gulps down a vial of mysterious potion. Brave cookie.

In "The Taming of the Shrew," a feisty Kate holds her own against the bravado of the cocky Petruchio when he decides to make her his bride. Not so fast, mister-mister, and not without a good fight.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" brings us three sassy women. Titania gives Oberon a tongue-lashing with "Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies away!" leaving him aghast that she won't give him what he wants.

Helena, in the face of what she sees as outlandish mockery, calls her best friend out as a vixen and uses sarcasm — "O excellent" — to make points to the two foolish lads suddenly begging for her affection.

Hermia takes the cake when it comes to spunk. Given three choices by her father:

  • marry Demetrius
  • live as a nun
  • die

    she chooses death. Stunningly gutsy.

    As our casting day neared, I overheard snippets of playground conversations from Shakespeare Club girls.

    "What part do you want?"


    "Why do you want Hermia?"

    " 'Cause she's pretty!"


    CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
    If I was Ann and I had 4 kids I would ask my husband if he can take me with him and the kids.

    Dear William Shakesphere

    We miss you very much. I hope we can come see you and your play. Jayden, Kashse and William miss you very much. They cry every night just over you.

    P.S. Hamnet died.

    your wife and your kids
    Wendy, 4th grade

    Kate: Austin Live Theatre; Hermia: Shakespeare Santa Cruz

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