Magazine article American Theatre

The Real Star of OSF Finally Makes His Entrance

Magazine article American Theatre

The Real Star of OSF Finally Makes His Entrance

Article excerpt

ASHLAND, ORE.: Over the centuries, Shakespeare's politics have proven harder to pin down than his biography. Do his histories favor the Tudors because he was a sincere royalist or because he knew where his bread was buttered? Can we read between his lines for veiled protests against the powers and principalities of his age?

Scholars have long recognized Macbeth as a response to the infamous Gunpowder Plot, a purported Catholic conspiracy to blow up Parliament and King James I's family in one fell swoop in 1605. King James, after all, was among Banquo's heirs, and Macbeth's doom could be read as a warning to would-be assassins. What's more, the "equivocator" of the drunken Porter's speech, who "could swear in both the scales against either scale," has long been seen as a reference to the alleged doublespeak of Father Henry Garnet, a Jesuit priest tried and executed for his supposed role in the plot.

Bill Cain's Equivocation--debuting at Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival through October and slated for L.A.'s Geffen Playhouse in November and Manhattan Theatre Club next February--meets these implications about the Bard's integrity head-on.

"In a time when men and women of conscience were routinely executed, Shakespeare did very well for himself," notes Cain, a Jesuit priest who ran the Boston Shakespeare Company for seven years before creating the short-lived TV series "Nothing Sacred" and the play Stand-Up Tragedy. "He wrote in support of a corrupt regime, which used torture for its political purposes--and he prospered". …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.