Thursday, May 20, 2004

THEATRE: What, Republicans Can Like Shakespeare Too?

Apparently, Republicans can enjoy culture. That's what Brendon Lemon says in Wednesday's Financial Times as he explores the far-reaching popularity of Shakespeare in the capital city.

From the Financial Times (subscr.)
Certainly among Washington theatregoers, The Shakespeare has been a destination for many years, notable for the quality of its offerings. While the city has several other fine theatres, The Shakespeare has proved that, as [Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Michael] Khan says, "there is a huge audience in Washington for the classics.

"This isn't just because the city has a large group of the highly educated," he continues, "because our audiences, especially in the summer, are extremely young, diverse and enthusiastic. Even the more conservative Republican side of the city embraces our repertoire. Shakespeare depicting sex or violence is not as threatening as when pop culture depicts them, apparently. And Shakespeare isn't a moralist. he doesn't tell you what to think. So people of all points of view can love him."

So if I'm reading this correctly, Republicans enjoy Shakespeare because real-life issues, like sex, are portrayed fairly and in a more dignified manner. (Hmmm ... that could be read as an overly broad interpretation)

What would the Bard have to say about Ms. Washingtonienne and the scandal she's created?


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