A devised work adapted from William Shakespeare
Watch: "I am Lucrece: Rethinking Sexual Violence" - How might Shakespeare's poem “The Rape of Lucrece” shed light on current conversations about “rape culture” in the United States and on college campuses? New York Magazine writer Vanessa Grigoriadis, activist, Columbia graduate, and SAFER board member Marybeth Seitz-Brown, and Gallatin Associate Faculty Member Cyd Cipolla discuss the movement against campus sexual assault and what it tells us about women's voices and continued silencing in the public sphere.
About the Production
Inspired by Livy and Ovid, Shakespeare’s epic poem tells the story of Lucrece, the wife of a Roman officer, Collatine, who in boasting of his wife’s chastity and “peerless beauty” to his fellow officers – including the dissolute Sextus Tarquin, son of the king – seals her fate. Consumed by jealously and lust, Tarquin rapes Lucrece. Unable to bear the shame, Lucrece kills herself, an act that leads to Tarquin’s banishment, the collapse of the royal family and the establishment of the Roman Republic.
Often a rehearsal process begins with the presentation of a directorial concept and sketches of costumes and scenic renderings from designers. Our process did not begin with pre-conceived ideas about the poem or how we might go about transforming it into a theatrical event. Instead, the rehearsal process began with the poem itself and the myriad of questions that would follow. Throughout our rehearsal process we had the opportunity to collaborate with our designers and composer in the room as we interrogated the text and experimented with its relationship to form.
Throughout the process we dove into the text and identified images and language that inspired and challenged us. We explored the tensions between expressive and literal staging and the ways we might collectively write a performance in time and space. Many questions drove our process: How is Lucrece and her story constructed? Is Lucrece the victim of a patriarchal system or a model of resistance? What is our relationship to Lucrece today? What can her story illuminate about power and structure? What you see is the result of the collaborative process and investigation that unfolded over the course of the semester.
Company | Rachel Hilson | Elisabeth Gunawan Ho | Gwen Hornig | Alec Seymour | Allison Wick
Music | Mark Bruckner
Text & Movement Coach | Sheila Bandyopadhyay
Costume Design | Whitney Locher
Scenic & Lighting Design | Raphael Mishler
Props Master | Robert Stevenson
Production Stage Manager | Kaitlin Nemeth
Assistant Stage Manager | Radhika Rajkumar