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theater

When's the last time you gave someone a standing ovation? We have a little debate over when to stand, and when to stay seated. The critics say that we stand too often, and that has removed the meaning of standing ovations. It's the adult version of "everyone gets a trophy." Or is it?

Our guests:

Throughout its history, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has been analyzed in different ways. Is the play misogynistic? Satirical? Empowering toward women?

This hour, we reexamine the play in the context of the #MeToo movement. It’s a move that many theater companies have made in recent months, and many have readapted the play to make a statement. We talk about a local production, and about how we view works of theater in different cultural moments. In studio:  

  • Virginia Monte, creator of WallByrd Theatre Company
  • Scott O'Neil, dramaturg for WallByrd’s production of The Taming of the Shrew
  • Jamie Tyrrell, local actor, director, and researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center

A new play at Geva Theatre tackles war, immigration, the refugee experience, and the gray area between right and wrong. “Heartland” is the story of an Afghan refugee and an American professor who form an unexpected friendship. It’s a production that speaks to the value theater can have in helping audiences understand the human stories behind political issues.

Our guests discuss the play, and how the arts can help us understand our world. We also preview Geva’s 46th season. In studio:

Why are women occasionally abused on movie sets, ostensibly for the sake of genuine art? The question was raised this past weekend, when Uma Thurman told the New York Times about abuses she has suffered. She says director Quentin Tarantino spit in her face and choked her with a chain on the set of Kill Bill.

Maria Schneider famously felt "a little raped" during filming for Last Tango in Paris when she was not warned about a scene in which her character was assaulted. Director Bernardo Bertolucci later said he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress."

But men rarely suffer such abuses. We discuss the double standard, and we discuss what lines should never be crossed for the sake of art. Our guests:

The Agitators tells the story of sometimes-difficult friendship between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Both wanted equality; on occasion their work pitted themselves against each other.

The production at Geva involves only two cast members, and tracks their remarkable 45-year relationship. It's a history lesson that feels more important than ever today. Our guests:

A recent production of "Julius Caesar" at New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park has caused uproar within right-wing circles. Some conservatives say the Caesar character -- who is styled after President Trump and assassinated -- normalizes political violence against the right. But do these critics miss the point of the play? The work has long been used as a vehicle for political commentary, and Shakespeare scholars cite its role as a cautionary tale of the dangers of political assassination.

Our guests discuss what the play really means, how it’s taught (if it is taught) in schools, and the role of farce in theater. In studio:

  • Diana Louise Carter, producer for WallByrd Theatre Co.'s summer production of Macbeth, and publicist for the Rochester Shakespeare Players' summer production of As You Like It
  • Evvy Fanning, local high school English teacher
  • Jacob Baller, senior at Webster Thomas High School
  • Sheila Byrne, Advanced Placement English teacher at Webster Thomas High School who prepares students for the Rochester Shakespeare Competition