Saturday, September 12, 2009

Free for All

We saw free Shakespeare tonight, but we had to earn our free tickets. It’s amazing how many people had the same idea.

Our son had proposed going to see “The Taming of the Shrew” as part of the Free for All program at the Sidney Harman Hall. The online suggestion was that we get there at 4 hours before the 8:00 performance by the Shakespeare Theatre Company. When we arrived at 4:11, the line was already over half a block long and although we were fairly assured of getting tickets, we were still in row T by the time all was said and done.

We later learned that people had started lining up at 2 pm. Only in Washington are people this crazy! As the tickets were not to be given out until 6 pm, we waited in line, meeting those in front and behind us as though they were old neighbors. Some were more comfortable than others.

At one point it started raining and the umbrellas came out.

Within 20 minutes of our arrival, we were in the middle of a much longer line that would now include many disappointed persons.

When we realized we could each get 2 tickets, we called friends to join us. Meanwhile we had tapas at Jaleo while we waited for show time.

If I had ever read The Taming of the Shrew, it was many years ago. It was so typical of many of Shakespeare’s plays in the intricate characterization, with people pretending to be other people, a clown, and multiple romantic pursuits.

But by the end of this play, I had a knot in my stomach as I watched the feisty Kate being turned into a Stepford wife. I cringed as she dutifully kissed her demanding husband. I was reminded that that was the way it used to be for women as they cowtailed to their husbands’ whims. I much preferred the Kate with an opinion, the one who was her own person. Maybe it was the modern staging with the antiquated theme of male dominance that seemed so ill-fitting.

As women continue to struggle for equality in relationships and in the workplace, I can only be thankful that our lot is better than it once was. Thank God!


Blogger karen said...

Hi Barbara - how amazing to be able to see a free Shakespeare production! One of the joys of living where you do...

I've been going backwards through all your wonderful stories about your holiday, how marvellous, thanks for sharing all the details! (not finished reading yet, but just wanted to say hello in the meantime!)

6:41 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Taming of the Shrew is one of my favorite shakespeare plays. Usually Kate has some sort of gleam in her eye at the end to indicate that although he is giving in now to his demands, she is not completely in his thrall.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sounds like a wonderful afternoon and evening. I love The Taming of the Shrew and don't so much mind waiting in line for something like that. There are people to meet and stories to tell.

9:17 AM  

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