Issue #88 — Much Ado About Shakespeare
|March 11, 2014||Posted by Scott Robertson under News|
Scott Robertson is Reviews Editor for Hitting The Stage. He has appeared as an actor on many of Hawaii’s stages.
In this week’s General Admission column, Alex Rogals discusses a recent controversy about a Philadelphia production of Julius Ceasar. In “All the World’s a [sometimes racist] Stage,” Alex talks about the problems of setting a play in a different cultural context. Philadelphia’s Lantern Theatre Company decided to set Shakespeare’s tragedy in Feudal Japan, but mucked it up big time, getting called out by a Philly actor for being racist and ultimately suffering the fate of the Internet’s magnifier effect. Since I used to be an actor in Philly, I know Lantern Theatre Company pretty well and I’m sorry to see this happen to them. On the one hand, Philly doesn’t have the large pool of Asian actors that we do, but on the other hand the problem is not so much with the casting as with what they decided it meant to be Japanese. It’s an interesting read and proof that theatre is not for the weak at heart.
On a lighter note, in “Shakespeare in Our Schools,” HTS director Troy M. Apostol also writes about Shakespeare and culture, this time as an actor in the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival School Show’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The inaugural show is part of a pioneering program, bringing the power of the Bard’s words to local students via live performance.