Studio Theater production plays with theatricality and scholarship
Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies get a second look in Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) at Pacific Lutheran University. The Shakespearean-inspired production runs in Studio Theater on March 10, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30pm and March 20 at 2pm.
Constance, a quirky professor, attempts to go against the grain and prove her controversial theory about the heroines of Othello and Romeo & Juliet. When she finds herself learning about how much of these characters’ lives is unwritten, she begins to question who is the fool in these plays–and in her own life.
With an M.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in Theater Studies from UC Santa Barbara, Director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Acting & Directing Kane Anderson describes himself as both an artist and a scholar.
“For my first project at PLU, I wanted to find a play that combines entertaining stage work with opportunities for academic rigor,” Anderson explained. “Often I find these two parts of my work warring against each other. However, in this piece, scholarship is play.”
This production provides opportunities for actors learning Shakespearean acting, and assistant directors and dramaturgs (theatrical researchers) who want to dive into the history and theory. All this makes for a full evening of entertainment, ritual, spectacle and education.
“We’re leaning into the frivolity and fun of theatrical transformation,” explains Anderson. “The play is fast-paced, unpredictable–and yet, it’s also a very human story about finding one’s way after you’ve been on the wrong path. It’s a bit of a dichotomy in how Constance balances the intellectualism of being a Shakespeare scholar with the absurdity of confronting the comedic truth of her work. The play is a romp that will entertain those with no Shakespeare experience as well as those who laugh at the in-jokes of academic study.”
While the Elizabethan language requires some study and understanding, Anderson teaches students that Shakespeare is more about improvisation.
“The secret to good Shakespeare is finding a sense of play between actor and audience within that structure,” Anderson explains. “One popular stereotype of Shakespearean acting often invokes a stodgy and impenetrable formality. This comes with a false label of theatre as ‘high culture.’ Shakespeare’s work was always meant for a mixed, popular audience.“
Tickets to productions can be purchased at the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center and by phone at 253-535-7411. Tickets are $8 General Admission; $5 Senior Citizen and Alumni; $3 PLU Community, any student ID and 18 and under. Join us for a free student preview on Thursday, March 10! Any student ID will get you in free.
Join us for a free student preview on Thursday, March 10! Any student ID will get you in free!
$8 General Admission
$5 Senior Citizen and Alumni
$3 PLU Community, any student ID, and 18 and under
Tickets to productions can be purchased at the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center and by phone at 253-535-7411.