Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shakespeare Meets Jerry Springer

What do Shakespeare and Jerry Springer have in common? Just ask the kids at the school where I teach. After I described the plot of MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to the afterschool Drama Club, one of them said, "Jeez! It's like the Jerry Springer Show!" In fact, I realized, they were right - catfight and all. Both portray conflict and the complicated entanglements that are human relationships. And both are popular in part for that reason - people can see and recognize their own entanglements in both men's particular forms of expression. But Shakespeare makes his catfights poetic.


  1. LOL Actually that reminds me of an animated short I once saw years ago, describing classic operas and the number of horrible things that happened in them. It was basically a fancy, medieval-looking scorecard that marked off the number of atrocities. I think the final tally was six operas, 57 murders, 23 suicides, 19 broken homes, 34 acts of illicit sex.

    Either way, at least Shakespeare or Mozart never invited audience participation. Whew.

  2. I'm not sure Shakespeare had to INVITE the audience participation. Back then, I think it came with the territory.

  3. At least the audiences at the Globe Theater never volunteered to go onstage wearing nothing but whipped cream. Granted, the company would've saved money on wardrobe....


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