Jamie Weeder Joins Todd Pazz To Discuss The U.P. Shakespeare Festival’s Production Of Titus Andronicus

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The U.P. Shakespeare Festival

The U.P. Shakespeare Festival

Marquette, MIOctober 7th, 2017The U.P. Shakespeare Festival  put on a production of Titus Andronicus this year, and Jamie Weeder joined Todd Pazz on The 8th Day to talk about the play.  The performance took place in the upstairs room of the Ore Dock Brewing Company, which provided a very different experience than usual for a Shakespeare play.  Weeder is the Artistic Director for the U.P. Shakespeare Festival, and she shared some insights as to why Titus Andronicus was the work that was selected for production.

The U.P. Shakespeare Festival opened their season performing the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, not a Shakespeare work, certainly, but an interesting set-up for Titus Andronicus.  While A Streetcar Named Desire is a metaphorical and poetic portrayal of a person’s descent into insanity, Titus Andronicus loses the fluff.  It is a frank, in-your-face production when contrasted with A Streetcar Named Desire, almost a counter-point to the Tennessee Williams work.

The production, which was designed to explore why people are so drawn to stories of revenge, has been described as “hilarious carnage” and was a very different treatment of the play than usual.  Since the entire production took place in a bar rather than a traditional theater, the audience’s relationship with the actors was much more intimate than it would normally have been.  Weeder promised that the experience of seeing the play in this setting would provoke “critical thinking” about human thinking and human culture, and would provide an exploration of the intrinsic curiosity about revenge and violence that all humans have.

Listen to Todd Pazz’s full interview with Jamie Weeder here.

Listen to Todd Pazz’s 2015 interview with Alastar Deimitrie here.

Photos provided by the U.P. Shakespeare Festival website.