Announcing SPIRIT TO RESIST: A Staged Reading

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Ever wondered what Shakespeare might have to say about our current political climate? The women of Untamed Shakespeare are back to take you on another breakneck ride through Shakespeare’s plays, and this time, it’s getting real.

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Character Spotlight: Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc
“And while I live, I’ll ne’er fly from a man.”

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A shepherdess who becomes one of the most unexpected military leaders in history, Joan of Arc burns through France with the force of the flames that will later consume her. Sharp-tongued, strategic, and great with a sword, Joan takes command of the entire French army and leads their battles against the English invaders of her homeland. Watch Joan overpower her foes at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

Character Spotlight: Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth
“Tell me, thou villain-slave, where are my children?”

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The recently widowed Elizabeth will do anything for her children—except sleep with the king. Unfortunately for her, when a king asks, a widow isn’t a position to say no. Coerced into becoming Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth and her family are swept up into the bloody whirlwind of Richard III’s reign. Elizabeth will fight tooth and nail to protect her children, and learns to manipulate with the best of them in order to keep her daughter safe from her lustful and murderous crook-backed uncle. Come watch this formidable mother work at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

Character Spotlight: Duchess of York

DUCHESS OF YORK (in Richard III)
“Bloody thou art. Bloody will be thy end. Shame serves thy life, and doth thy death attend.”

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The Duchess of York is not exactly batting a thousand in terms of her male children; she’s produced a womanizer (Edward), a turncoat (Clarence), and now a bloody tyrant. But when Richard III murders her grandchildren, the Duchess of York takes a stand against her youngest son. Disinheriting him and cursing him, she throws her support behind Richard’s enemies, protecting the last hope for her torn-apart family: her granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth. Meet this powerful matriarch at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

Character Spotlight: Princess Katharine

PRINCESS KATHARINE
“Is it possible dat I should love de enemy of France?”

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Katharine is a brand-new blushing bride to Henry V, but there’s just one problem: her betrothed has just conquered her country, and he doesn’t even speak her language. Nevertheless, the spirited Katharine resourcefully strives to learn English, facing her future with her trusted friend Alice. Come watch Katharine charm in French at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

 

Character Spotlight: Eleanor

ELEANOR, DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
“And, being a woman, I will not be slack to play my part in fortune’s pageant.”

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Eleanor lives in an age in which a woman is supposed to stay in her place, but she has big dreams and lofty ambitions that stretch all the way to the throne. Unfortunately for her, her husband, the loyal uncle and Lord Protector to Henry VI, will hear nothing of her schemes. So Eleanor takes matters into her own hands, turning to the only means she can find: witchcraft. Discover Eleanor’s dark fate at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

Character Spotlight: Mistress Quickly

MISTRESS QUICKLY
“I’ll drink no more than will do me good, for no man’s pleasure, I.”

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All that Mistress Quickly wants is to run a questionably reputable tavern, but between drunk friends, bar fights, and deaths on the second floor, The Boar’s Head is not exactly a well-oiled machine. Quickly is the ultimate mom friend, and will hold your hair when you throw up and then pass you another drink. But don’t swagger in her tavern—Quickly “cannot abide swaggerers.” Stop by for a cup of sack at Witchcraft in Their Lips.

Character Spotlight: Queen Margaret


QUEEN MARGARET
“Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside, and I am ready to put armor on.”

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Queen Margaret, the “She-wolf of France,” is the largest female role that Shakespeare ever wrote and the most dominant force in the warring England of Henry VI. As a young princess, Margaret was captured as a prisoner of war and brought across the sea to a new country as a bride for Henry VI, but Margaret quickly took control to rule in her weak husband’s stead. She fights to put down civil war, engages in a torrid love affair, fights on behalf of her son, and curses with the vitriol of a woman wronged. Come watch her conquer at Witchcraft in Their Lips.

Character Spotlight: Doll Tearsheet

DOLL TEARSHEET
“You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?”

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Meet Doll Tearsheet. As her name would suggest, she’s a “lady of the evening” in the sheets, and she’ll (allegedly) beat a man to death on the streets. Doll has a sharp tongue and a colorful vocabulary, but she loves her man, Falstaff, and her best friend, Mistress Quickly. Will her impassioned insults drive swaggering intruders out of her tavern? Will a cushion stuffed under her blouse prove an effective fake pregnancy? Will she be able to hold her liquor after chugging three tankards of canary? Find out at Witchcraft in Their Lips!

Witchcraft in Their Lips at BXSW

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Nell McKeown (L) and Stephanie Donowho, co-founders of Untamed Shakespeare, present at the first annual Blackfriars by Southwest Conference at the Curtain Theatre in Austin, Texas. Photo by Heidi Cephus.

We had a wonderful time this weekend presenting about Witchcraft in Their Lips at the Blackfriars by Southwest Conference! We shared thoughts about our montage in which three royal men woo women, and then our incredible actors illustrated a small slice of this scene.

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Witchcraft in Their Lips team members offered a preview performance during Blackfriars by Southwest: a scene featuring the side-by-side wooings of Lady Grey by Edward IV, Princess Katharine by Henry V, and Lady Anne by Richard III. L-R: Rachel Abbott, Georgia McLeland, Jennifer Rose Davis, Nell McKeown, Kendall DeBoer, Becky Musser, Leanna Holmquist. Photo by Joe Stephenson.

This conference was the American Shakespeare Center’s inaugural effort to take their biannual Blackfriars Conference (at which we were lucky enough to present) to other locales—and we were so fortunate that they began at the lovely Curtain Theatre right here in Austin! If you’re interested in reading our paper, check it out here.