• The easy answer is that William, a production of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), works because it is able to deal with the difficulty of William Shakespeare’s plays without sacrificing its integrity in the process. But also it works because it succeeds in taking on the challenge not just of drawing a line that connects a literary text and contemporary life, but more importantly between Shakespearean drama and the lives of Pinoy high school students.
    • Because it is able to actually give us a peek at current high school life, and the concerns of our youth, vis-à-vis how literature—Shakespeare at that—can allow an amount of understanding, if not an explanation, for what we go through and how we feel. Right here is its gift to literature and to teaching: it proves to us its relevance in light of our real lives in the everyday.
    • Yes, this is stuff for soap operas, and here is where William proves an adept hand at turning the story into one that isn’t uncomfortably melodramatic
    • So that Richard faces the homosexual bullying by choosing to recite Shylock’s revenge speech from Merchant of Venice, TJ unravels as bully via the to-be-or-not-to-be speech in Hamlet, Erwin finds his voice and comes out of his shell in defense of Richard through Julius Caesar’s friends-Romans-countrymen speech. Estella forgives her mother, and herself, for the distance and anger via Portia’s speech on mercy in Merchant of Venice, and even Sophia, seemingly petty as her crisis is, ties together a newfound love in the poor boy that is Erwin through Juliet’s what’s-in-a-name speech from Romeo and Juliet.
    • And this is really the success of William. That it is able to traverse all these lines that make Shakespeare and literature difficult—to teach, to read, to learn—at the same time that it also deals with very real teenage problems of bullying and family expectations, peer pressure and difference
    • That in the end we are told there is reason to read Shakespeare toward understanding ourselves better, that it will allow us to let go of the masks we wear, that it will ultimately mean an amount of fearlessness—in relation to Shakespeare and in light of life’s struggles—is what makes William relevant and important for today’s Filipino youth and student.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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