Central College’s theatre department will present “Shakespeare Shorts” online only from Feb. 24-27. It can be accessed at central.edu/shakespeare.
The series will premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, and is available to stream online through midnight Saturday, Feb. 27.
The series is made up of short films that redefine the works of Shakespeare:
- “Between the Trees” follows the tragic love hexagon between openly lesbian poet Natalie Clifford Barney and lover Pauline Tarn, who wrote under the pen name Renée Vivien, by utilizing the lines of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
- “In the Dark” attempts to redefine understandings of gender and sexuality as malleable using contradictory lines from Act Two Scene One in “Taming of the Shrew.” The film takes place in the 1970s during a surge of social reform.
- “The Prophecies of Macbeth” is a strange and colorful retelling of the prophecies of Macbeth. This film delves into different time periods, dream-like wonder and sinister motives that branch between absurdity and hope.
- “O’Spite” takes place on a cold, quiet day in Iowa. Helena, a scorned woman, tries to forget the last day of events. With the buzz of a text message, she goes on a tirade about her current circumstances to whomever will listen.
- “Hark, What Light” uses one of Shakespeare’s most famous monologues from “Romeo and Juliet” to reveal sinister motives of a young man who stands outside a stranger’s house.
The series is an original production directed by Mary Jo Sodd, professor of theatre; Cailyn Sales, Class of 2021; and Eric Bridges, an independent filmmaker who graduated from Central in 2012.
Sales says the project has been less traditional than most, especially in a global pandemic where traditional presentations of theatre are difficult to maintain.
“This point in history is so strange and has sparked a sense of mourning, discontent and the fear of the unknown,” Sales says. “The arts are how we heal. Working on this project has been incredible by allowing a sense of creation that overshadows the rest.”