Blown-up text scrolls throughout Elevator Repair Service’s take on Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” Watching the experimental collective Elevator Repair Service’s new take on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure , at the Public Theater, I found myself starting to wonder what a visitor from another planet might make of it, having never seen a Shakespeare play, and having been told only that he was a famous and greatly admired author. The ensuing imaginary conversation, as translated from the original Martian and slightly edited for clarity, ran something like this: Me : Well, Mr. Martian, what do you think of Shakespeare now? He : Oh, I am very impressed with him. You Earth people certainly do like a play to be fun. He takes matters that seem to be extremely serious, morally troubling, or at times even violent, and he has the actors treat them like an animated cartoon, all funny voices and silly accents and running around. I quite liked that. We on Mars would treat such matters much more seriously. I suppose it could be because we have a much colder atmosphere, especially now that you’re afflicted with global warming. Me : How did you feel about Shakespeare’s language? He […]

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