Professional Theater Company Kentucky Shakespeare Visits SHS

Carson Carpenter, Staff Writer

Professional theatrical company Kentucky Shakespeare paid 352 SHS freshmen a visit January 10. Actors John and Jessica sampled scenes from three different genres: a history, a comedy, and a tragedy.  After their brief introduction, they opened with the history, Henry IV, Part 2. Shakespeare based his histories upon the history of England and its rulers. Shakespeare’s histories are often thought to be dull or boring. However, they selected a comic relief scene between Falstaff and a pub owner who was owed money.

After Henry IV, Part 2, the duo performed a scene from Macbeth, the tragedy. Tragedies follow a protagonist’s fall from high status and often involve death and an unhappy ending. Macbeth is a story of betrayal and guilt in which the protagonist, Macbeth, is told that he will one day become king of Scotland and conspires with his wife to kill the current king, King Duncan, and take the throne. He is showered with guilt and becomes a tyrant in order to protect himself. He and Lady Macbeth are eventually killed and is a good example of how power can so easily corrupt people.

Last, they performed from The Taming of the Shrew, the comedy. Comedies are dramas with entertainment, a happy ending and typically a wedding. The Taming of the Shrew was the most entertaining of the plays. Although it wasn’t very long, it was quite a humorous scene featuring a funny squabble between the main characters Katherina and Petruchio. For just two people acting, the performance was great! The 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You features this plot.

Shakespeare was quoted by other students as “boring” or “stupid,” but I think the performance definitely changed the minds of doubters including myself and many others. Although I wouldn’t watch a Shakespearean drama on the regular, I wouldn’t mind seeing one every once in a while, but watching this performance has made me see the great playwright in a new light, and I would recommend giving it a shot even if you think you might not be interested in it.