The Trojan Women Project. Devised by Rachel Hynes and the ensemble. Brave Spirits Theatre. 2018. Directed by Rachel Hynes. Photo by Claire Kimball.

  In this series of posts, we’ll be bringing you glimpses into the devising process for The Trojan Women Project. The thirteen performers involved often wrote poems, songs, dialogues, and movement pieces on the theme and ideas being explored in the rehearsal room. Sometimes they were created in the spur of the moment and other…

BST Coriolanus photo credit Claire Kimball

One of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays, Coriolanus follows a war hero’s self-possessed rise and tragic fall … “Would you have me false to my nature?”  – Coriolanus, 3.2.13-141   Written around 1608 and published in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s works in 1623, The Tragedy of Coriolanus follows a Roman general who finds himself revered…

16th-century portrait, Artist Unknown (ia Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most important poets and playwrights of early modern England was Christopher “Kit” Marlowe. In the emerging world of Elizabethan theatre in the late 1580’s, Marlowe’s pen was arguably the most affecting and “most admired, envied, and widely imitated playwright in London” (Kuriyama 81). But his mysterious life was cut short and his…

Roman mosaic, 2nd century CE, Palazzo Nuovo (Wikimedia Commons)

Say, pals, whaddya call a play not funny enough to be a comedy, not sad enough to be a tragedy? A history play! Just kidding. Mostly.* But really, you can put that old idea of tragicomedy in your pipe, because Beaumont and Fletcher fine-tuned a genre that deserves a better name. To get a sense…

Portrait of John Fletcher, Wikimedia Commons

As Brave Spirits Theatre prepares for our incest repertory of A King and No King with ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, we’d love for our audience to get acquainted with the playwrights behind these stories … Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher (A King and No King, printed 1619) Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher are the…

Brave Spirits Theatre; photo by Claire Kimball

From the Bible and Oedipus Rex to Game of Thrones and Taboo, incestuous relationships have appeared throughout human history, literature, and popular culture. Though we may quickly assume its moral implications today, the legal and religious definitions of incest have had a complicated past … In classical societies like ancient Greece, marriage and sexual intercourse…

Helen Mirren as Cleopatra in 1966

Woolly Mammoth’s recent production of Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops made waves in the DC theatre community. In the play, as described by the company, “five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the ‘thea-tah.’ Award-winning playwright Jen Silverman’s absurdist romantic comedy is at once hysterical, inspired, and…

Searching for 'drunken Antony' and the 'Cleopatra...i'th' posture of a whore'

                                 The quick comedians Extemporally will stage us, and present Our Alexandrian revels. Antony Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness I’th’ posture of a whore. (Antony and Cleopatra, 5.2.212-217)1 Shakespearean scholars…