Ford, John. ’Tis Pity She's a Whore. Dir. Joseph Papke. Perf. Peter Aitchison, Andrew Chambers, Brandon Ewald, Koya Frye, Kate Greenwood Gunther, Steven Herzog, Erik Hoover, Ari Hoptman, Jeff Huset, Foster Johns, Leif Jurgensen, Mark Knutson, Zach Morgan, Jonathan Peterson, Jen Rand, Joel Raney, and Sigrid Sutter. Classical Actors Ensemble. Minneapolis. 5 November—20 November 2010.
Another brief break in the grading allows me to squeeze in this announcement. John Ford's Tragedy ’Tis Pity She's a Whore (written c. 1629) will be staged this month in Minneapolis!
Though it may not have the strangest name for a play by a rough contemporary of Shakespeare's (John Heywood's The Play Called the Four PP might claim that distinction), its title is an odd one. Don't let it dissuade you from attending. It's clearly not a play for the faint of heart (it's filled with violence, incest, intrigue, depravity, et cetera), but it is a magnificent one.
I've only seen one production of this play—in St. Louis, some dozen years back. Saying that I enjoyed it wouldn't quite capture the experience. It was good for me. It built character. It enlarged my understanding of the post-Jacobean, pre-Commonwealth drama. And it also gave me a story I've told quite a few times since.
We were all leaving the theatre, somewhat stunned at the tragedy of the tragedy and the disturbing nature of its subject matter, and I heard one lady say to another, "Well, I certainly didn't get any catharsis from that!"
Whether you're looking for catharsis or not, support the production of English Renaissance Drama wherever you find it. Try The Classical Actors Ensemble's production of ’Tis Pity She's a Whore.
Links: Information about the production.
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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.