Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedies on Pilsen Stages in the Context of Social and Political Events in the 20th and 21st Centuries
MIŠTEROVÁ, I. Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedies on Pilsen Stages in the Context of Social and Political Events in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Praha, 2010.
|Anglický název:||Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedies on Pilsen Stages in the Context of Social and Political Events in the 20th and 21st Centuries|
|Autoři:||PhDr. Ivona Mišterová Ph.D.|
|Abstrakt EN:||Shakespeare’s romantic comedies have represented an important segment of the repertoire for Pilsen theatres since the beginning of the 20th century. The aim of this paper is to explore particular stage interpretations of selected comedies performed on Pilsen stages in connection with the significant social and political events and developments in the second half of the 20th and 21st centuries. The first Shakespearean production on a Pilsen stage after World War II, "Measure for Measure", not only mirrored the wartime era but, in a certain sense, anticipated the period that was to come, portraying Angelo as “a prototype of the modern leader”. In contrast, "Twelfth Night", staged in 1950, represented a classical stage interpretation of Renaissance comedy, emphasizing the play’s lightness and wit. "The Merchant of Venice" (1954) premiered two years after the trials against Rudolf Slánský, a leader of the Jewish faction within the Czech Communist Party, and his supporters, when the so called Jewish issue was still particularly topical. Shylock hence symbolised a negative figure, embodying betrayal and deserving a severe punishment. The late 1960s socio-political climate was reflected in the performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" (1970) , in which commedia dell’arte elements blended with “an individual gesture of resistance”. In the 1983 production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" attempted to modernize a classical comedy and gave it an innovative perspective, presenting Theseus/Oberon in a double role as a tyrant and usurper. This paper furthermore aims to prove or disprove whether the aforementioned performances, as well as other stage productions of Shakespeare’s comedies, served only to entertain and educate audiences, or to voice objections to the authoritarian regime.|