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September 10th, 2008

By and large, I avoid using phrases like "by and large," but by and large, I think there's a certain amount of gender war stuff that happens that is, quite frankly, silly. Case in point: in today's Washington Post there is an article about Taffety Punk Theatre putting on an all-female production of Romeo and Juliet. Okay, fine... whatever. I don't think it's a big deal. In fact, I think making the story about two star-crossed lesbian lovers might be rather interesting (no, not that reason, get your minds out of the gutter). However, the beginning of the article outlines the asinine reasoning for this production:

No sooner had the Shakespeare Theatre Company -- the big kahuna of classical theater in town -- begun auditioning for an all-male "Romeo and Juliet" than Lise Bruneau and Marcus Kyd of Taffety Punk Theatre Company determined to counter the production with an all-female one.

"My feminist bones started to rattle," says Bruneau, aggrieved that "over and over and over and over again" a professional company will go the all-guy-Shakespeare route.

Um, excuse me... Ms. Bruneau? Are you familiar with English theatrical history? Are you aware that there might just be a perfectly valid historical reason why the Shakespeare Theatre Company would put on an all-male production? I don't think it's a big deal at all to stage an all-female production, but doing it because your "feminist bones started to rattle"? I think you need to grow a set and learn some theatrical history (or, failing that, go watch Shakespeare in Love).

(Now bracing myself for a possible tongue-lashing from my beloved feminist friends)

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