Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy mother's day

We are off to see The Tempest at the Folger Theater here in DC, which is perhaps an odd choice of play for mother's day, seeing as how Miranda is a conspicuously motherless child.

Excellent production at the Folger, really lovely.

As I sat watching, I thought about how I might stage it. I realize every conceivably goofy rendering of Shakespeare has been done, and done to death ... still, I wondered about perhaps a cyberpunk, neuromanceresque version of The Tempest, in which Ariel sits above the stage as a techno-nerd girl-geek playing at videogames, surrounded by monitors and keyboards and techno-cyber-gizmos, but also pizza boxes and Pepsi and Doritos, pulling all the strings at Prospero's command ("You can't stop the signal, no one can stop the signal."). All the humming and singing and songs done with synthesizers from her work station.

As for Caliban, the prototypical monstor is wired up as a sort of cyber monster/Frankenstein, his head shaved and marked off in grids and electrodes fastened and unfastened to his brain, ordered about by Prospero with a control pad strapped to his wrist. And the visions that Ariel gives to the Duke, et al., all done with holograms. Give a new twist on the dream and great globe and insubstantiality riffs. The Tempest as neural net?

I said Caliban as monster/Frankenstein. Yes, but also as something resembling Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, in both appearance and physicality, played by someone very wiry and young. Or for a notably prurient possibility, with provocation appeal and many, many YouTube possibilities, perhaps a very skinny girl with shaved head, wearing only a Gollum-style loincloth ... okay, okay, I hear you, too distracting.

Any possibilities here? Probably already been done, actually, and I'm just chanelling it.

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