TEN THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW:
1. When was the play first performed?
2. Where was the play first performed?
At the Rose by the Lord Admiral’s Men, the chief competitors to the Lord Chamberlain’s
Men, Shakespeare’s company.
3. Who wrote it?
We don’t know.
4. How is this anonymous playwright like Shakespeare?
He likes the idea of disguise, of actors playing characters who themselves play
parts (Rosalind, Henry V, Edmund, Petruchio, Viola).
5. How is this anonymous playwright unlike Shakespeare?
When it comes to disguise, one might argue that the playwright used too much
of a good thing. No other play of the period has so much disguise in it. In fact,
it may be that the play was also known as “Disguises.” Where Shakespeare’s
plays might have two or three characters in disguise, all but two of the major
characters in Look About You appear disguised, and Skinke has eight different
disguises. So, one thing to watch for in this Actors Renaissance Season production
is how the company handles all this convention.
6. What do scholars think about this play?
Perhaps because the play has not appeared on a professional stage for four
centuries, scholars have had little to say about the play as a play. Interest has
largely been in its handling of the Robin Hood material, and you can read a fine
piece on that subject by Carole Levin in ASC’s online magazine, The Playhouse
7. Is there any controversy surrounding the work?
Not really. Obviously the question of authorship spars speculation, but ??????
8. What characters should I especially look for?
The play’s great master of disguise is Skinke, and how can you not pay attention
to character named “Skinke”? The play is most famous for having Robin Hood
in it, but the Robin Hood in this play is a far cry from Errol Flynn or even
9. What scenes should I especially look for?
If you like the play’s marathon disguising, then you’ll especially enjoy the scene
with two different characters disguised as the same hermit. This play also shares
with Gary Taylor’s reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Cardenio the distinction of
an onstage game of bowls.
10. What is the language like?
The language is easy to understand. The verse is primarily iambic pentameter,
mostly end-stopped (thoughts usually conclude at the end of a line) with intermittent
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The Taming of the Shrew
Sunday, March 29, 2015, 2:00 pm
Actors' Renaissance Season