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Shakespearean gender-bending

I am currently teching for the Shakespeare Performance Troupe’s performance of Two Noble Kinsmen, and since I was devoting 6 hours a night to the show, I decided to revolve my project around the show. In particular, the gender/sexuality identities of characters in Shakespeare plays.

I came into the interviews that I did with the cast and crew expected some degree of agreement: that either playing another gender/sexuality clearly alters one’s self-image, or that it has no affect at all. Instead, what I got were some people commenting on things (like the technology of binding, or the nature of gendering movement) that brought up more questions.

My conclusion? That there isn’t one. Every actor goes about a role differently, and even the same person may look at one role differently than another one.

Without any more stalling, here’s the video I made of what I noticed:

Thanks go to: Kathy Dilliplane, Kate Kolbell, Charlie Caplan, Lena Barnard, and Madi Houff for letting me quote them, and the cast and crew of SPT for helping out, or just agreeing to be interviewed/filmed.

One Response
  1. Michelle Bennett permalink
    April 25, 2009

    I really enjoyed watching this project. I like how you established the parallel between performing a part in a play and performing a gender. I’m kind of a slow reader, so I wasn’t able to read every quote you had, but it seemed like all the input you got from the performers was really heavy and pertinent to our “technologies of gender” segment.

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