Miss Shakespeare at Firehall Arts Centre

photo: Emily Cooper

The award winning musical, Miss Shakespeare is onstage until November 26th at the Firehall Arts Centre.

Although it’s set in the 1600s, the story was topical for the current political situation, telling the story of a strong woman fighting against a male dominated industry and her attempt to break through the proverbial glass ceiling.
Judith Shakespeare longs to follow her famous father’s footsteps to be a playwright and actress. However, in this age women in the theatre are not allowed so Judith and her band of likeminded women are driven underground. Taking to the dingy basement bar, The Cage Tavern, the troupe read lines and rehearse, playing men playing women as they would on the Shakespearean stage. While Judith writes her own play, the ghost of her father’s fame hangs over her head, taunting her with doubt but driving her forward.
The women learn more than lines as they spend more time in The Cage, discovering more about themselves and womenhood, empowering them in an age of women being in the shadows.

photo: Emily Cooper

To move the story along, the all-female cast, breaks into song and dance with sometimes hilarious lyrics along the way.  The songs are like the women’s subconscious singing what they can’t say, thoughts that would not be deemed lady-like in the 17th century.  As the ladies find their voice during the play, it’s a reminder of how far women have come but still have a distance to go before being thought of as truly equal.

Miss Shakespeare plays until November 26, 2016 at Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E Cordova Street.

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