Shakespeare in Mind Script
Haunting and hilarious, Shakespeare in Mind takes a strange and wondrous trip through a dozen "post-modern Elizabethan" plays, poems and songs. Motifs of fear and murder, love and death, dreams and destiny weave in and out of our modern minds that Shakespeare now inhabits. And just like Will's own plays, this dynamic production interweaves comedy, romance, song and tragedy as it presents contemporary characters interacting with Macbeth and Duncan, Juliet and Titus Andronicus, Othello and Desdemona, and 20 other classic characters.
The production opens with Elizabeth Wong's Shakespeare's Brainscan, which uses the many murders in Titus Andronicus to demonstrate how our brains respond to fear and horror. Playwrights Brooke Jennett and Mollie LaFavers offer a contemporary romance that recalls the lyrical love of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers. Richard Dresser's Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Today updates the violence in Macbeth for bloodthirsty audiences of today. Spit Spat Spite Splendor by Ginna Hoben pushes six pairs of Shakespeare's famous lovers down a slippery slope from ecstasy to enmity, ending with a ferocious food fight accompanied by a romantic balled written by Janet Allard and composed by Niko Tsakalakos. Poet Jeremy Paden illuminates the tragedy of Othello by placing it in the context of seafaring explorers of the 16th century, and Jon Jory questions the cause of recent wars by riffing on Juliet's famous soliloquy, "What's in a name?"
All this and more is channel-surfed by a trio of characters who discuss the relevance of Hamlet while comparing it to Game of Thrones in Valerie Smith's Gogglebox Hamlet. Iago's motives and methods are lampooned in Dean Staley's wacky Iago on the Bus. A woman confesses to the murders in Shakespeare's plays in Justin Wright's unnerving monologue, Chivalry. Another woman can't escape the threats of her husband, who things he's Othello and she's Desdemona... until she turns the table by reimagining herself as Lady Macbeth! And Constance Congdon places it all in perspective through a series of conversations between a young Will Shakespeare and the ghost of Christopher Marlowe.
Together these works celebrate and reimagine the theatrical universe of the Bard for a technology-driven 21st-Century audience.