On January 31, Shakespeare Workshop brought Jessica Bauman to UCSC. In conversation with Catherine Ramirez at Kresge Town Hall, Bauman addressed her recent production of “Arden/Everywhere,” an adaptation of “As You Like It” set in a refugee camp. Thomas Sawano from City on a Hill Press covered the conversation.
“Friends, Romans, Slugs — Lend Me Your Ears”
By Thomas Sawano |
A new version of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” transports the 400-year-old comedy to the contemporary, bringing empathy to center stage and giving migrant voices an Elizabethan meter.
Director Jessica Bauman will discuss her recent adaptation of the Shakespearean classic at Kresge Town Hall on Jan. 31. Bauman’s production, titled “Arden / Everywhere,” thrusts the castaways of “As You Like It” into the middle of the modern-day migrant crisis, where they find love in a forest of plywood palettes and instant coffee cans.
Bauman and UC Santa Cruz Latin American and Latino studies professor Catherine Ramírez will examine the surprising juncture between Shakespearean theater and immigration.
“How does changing the setting to a refugee camp transform the play?” Ramirez said. “What kind of themes does it bring into relief? What kind of opportunities and challenges does it present?”
Bauman decided to adapt “As You Like It” to a modern setting after teaching a two-week theater workshop at a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya.
“The story that most of us have access to about refugees and displacement is incredibly flattened out and two-dimensional,” Bauman said. “Almost always those kinds of stories make a person into the sum-total of all the bad things that have ever happened to them.”
Instead, Bauman wanted to capture migration as a multifaceted experience, containing moments of hardship and joy.
Read the full story at City on a Hill Press >