|As You Like It: the Big Flush
| Open: 07/20/08 Close: 08/03/08 - Where Eagles Dare Theatre
The Dark Lady Players, one of the world's most experimental Shakespeare companies, perform the allegorical level of the Shakespearean plays to show that they were written by England's only Jewish poet the so-called 'Dark Lady', Amelia Bassano Lanier (1569-1645). Living as a hidden Jew (a Marrano or Converso) she was mistress to the man in charge of the English theater and the first woman in England to publish a book of original poetry.
This retelling of AYLI highlights the two characters called Jaques/Jakes (Elizabethan for toilet), and the character whose pocket watch identifies him as Sir John Harrington, the inventor of the flush toilet! The play turns out to be a Jewish toilet joke written using double allegories. What are these characters, a dunghill, and many references to excrement doing in this play? Why does As You Like It end with Jaques warning that Noah's flood is coming? Why are there other flood references, like Hercules cleansing the Augean stables of manure? Why does Touchstone go off to the ark with Audrey, who is named after St Ethelreda, the woman who was saved from a flood? Could this be the Last Day? And who is Touchstone (in Greek the basanos)?Could he be an allegory for Amelia Bassano herself?
|The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women
| Open: 12/03/08 Close: 12/14/08 - Roy Arias Theaters
The Emma Goldman Theatre Brigade, a radical feminist theatre group, is at it again - implementing their innovative lottery system to insure theatrical equality. They each draw the role they will play out of a hat each night before the show, but tonight there's a critic in the audience and t he sisterhood is put to the test when some of them don't draw the role they want. What follows is the trial of five women accused of denying Anastasia Romanov, the infamous daughter of Tsar Nicholas, of her identity where the audience becomes judge and jury. They rule on objections during the course of the play, creating a new show with every performance. A courtroom drama based on history wrapped in a backstage farce with a healthy dose of audience participation thrown in for good measure, The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women presents a profoundly engaging excursion into the interactions of women who are survivors and abusers.