UH Moment: "Shakespeare Festival"

At the University of Houston, director Jack Young of the UH Shakespeare Festival greets the centuries old comedy Taming of the Shrew with 21st century eyes.

UH Shakespeare Festival Director Jack Young"Every time we come to one of these things we come to it from where we are now, 2011.  In the 60s and 70s there was a big rift called the battle of the sexes because there was a strong woman and a strong man," he said.  "Liz Taylor was a spunky woman in a beautiful dress and suited that time, but it may not suit this time, so coming back and seeing it now, how does this story fit in our time." 

The UH Shakespeare Festival is a summer standard for Miller Outdoor theater.  Young's production is injected with flashes of 1950s and 1980s in dress or you may hear voices that sound like Sandra Dee or Tony Soprano.  But it's still the Bard as he is.     

"It's one thing to watch Romeo and Juliet when you're 13; it's different when you have a 13 year old and you're watching it from the parents' point of view," he said.  "It's a great way of checking in on yourself.  How does this reflect on me?  How am I up there now?"

Shakespeare has been meeting Houston audiences at Miller Outdoor theatre for 37 years.  The play, indeed, is the thing. 

"I think Shakespeare would be giggling his head off.  This is a populist, popular faire already and it's all for fun on a summer night!"

William Shakespeare is part of what's happening at the University of Houston.  I'm Marisa Ramirez.

Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston.

More information about the UH School of Theatre and Dance can be found here.

Tags: UH Moment

 

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