Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Shakespeare Show plays at Portland's Mini Fringe Festival March 24-26, 2011

Daniel Wright, Ph.D., director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland Oregon reports that Monster Theatre will present an anti-Stratfordian comedy titled The Shakespeare Show: Or, how an illiterate son of a Glover became the Greatest Playwright in the World by Ryan Gladstone on March 24-26, 2011 at the Portland Mini Fringe Festival. The festival is hosted by the Fuse Theatre Ensemble in the Theater! Theatre! space at 3430 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon. 

The Calgary- and Toronto-based Monster Theatre proclaims its mission as "Repackaging history and mythology for today's audiences". Playwright and Monster Theatre artistic director Ryan Gladstone describes his play on the festival website as follows: 
Based on the greatest theatrical debate of all time The Shakespeare Show investigates the theory that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually penned by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.  The play is a fast-paced physical comedy in which actors Tara Travis and Ryan Gladstone play dozens of roles. The production is minimal with only two props – a massive Queen Elizabeth Wig, and a Puppet of the Three Witches!
He comments on the genesis of The Shakespeare Show on the Monster Theatre site:
The idea for this play was brewing in my mind for about ten years.  It is loosely based on a Woody Allen movie called ‘The Front’ which takes place during the Hollywood blacklist, where a series of writers find themselves on the blacklist and use some idiot to Front for them.  I wrote the play in Iambic Pentameter, which, once started, was way easier than I thought. As far as the authorship question itself goes – when I started researching it, I was convinced that Shakespeare wrote the play, now I am on the fence.  I believe it is possible Shakespeare wrote the plays… I just think Oxford is more likely!
Professor Wright invites playgoers to a late-night reception at the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre following the Friday, March 25 performance of the play.