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February 21, 2007

Stooping to Conquer

Bridgette Redman

Reading an Ann Arbor newspaper review of the University of Michigan's "She Stoops to Conquer" production reinforced how very different theater is in every single performance.

Jenn McKee saw this production on its opening night. I saw it on its closing night. By the end of the single weekend run, there were no actors struggling with speaking through their fake teeth and the prosthetics contributed to the overall humor of the piece.

It was also refreshing to see a show that completely eschews the naturalistic acting style. John Neville-Andrews directed his actors to fully indulge in the asides and to declaim to the audience. The actors moved in a purposely stilted fashion, striking poses in a manner that celebrated theater as it was written in the 1700s. It plays oddly to modern eyes accustomed to a theater indelibly stamped with Ibsen, Miller, and Stanislavsky, but in so doing, it remains remarkably true to the work's time and place.

Posted by Bridgette Redman at February 21, 2007 10:21 AM

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