It’s not very often I’m a part of something that I would call “creepy” or even use that word in a description, but here we are, in the middle of October and that’s the word I’m going with.

Of course I could use a wealth of Halloween-tinged adjectives for the play I’m currently rehearsing, because it lends itself so well to the flavor of this season! That would be the show, Violent Delights, an original play adapted from the more intense and wicked side of Shakespeare’s canon.  Scenes from plays like Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, Richard III, and even A Midsummer Night’s Dream are thrown together to create a study of audiences’ enduring fascination with violence. While we rightfully steer the world towards peace, how and why do we enjoy it on stage? Just because it’s pretend and makes us even laugh a little?

Rehearsal at The 1887 venue in Minneapolis with Michael Terrell Brown, Amanda Chial and Ashley Hovell.

These are only a couple of questions in a show that creator and director Penelope Parsons-Lord has been crafting for just about a decade now. Through previous incarnations, she has discovered that no one production is like the other, as different character’s lend themselves differently to the times and places in which the play is performed. Those locations have literally spanned the globe from Parsons-Lord’s hometown of Sydney, Australia to Phoenix, AZ and now Minneapolis (where a well-received production was staged at the Theatre Garage in 2014).  

One thing is for sure, however, that no matter how much Violent Delights morphs and breathes on its own, the questions brought forth are always pertinent; perhaps now more than ever. In an age and country where acts of violence are so pervasive where do we draw the line between acceptable and intolerable? Is it OK to wave-off physical, mental and sexual abuse if it’s “just a joke?”

Alright, so maybe all of these weren’t the adjectives you might have been expecting at the start of this blog, but here are in the middle of October, 2019 and they’re the words I’m going with.

Come see Violent Delight this October 18 – November 2. Click here for tickets – ALL performance are Pay What You Can.

Created by Penelope Parsons-Lord
Based on the works of William Shakespeare

Through some of Shakespeare’s most famous works, and unsettling renditions of old songs, we confront and grapple with the psyches that populate the nexus of passion, violence, humour and play.
– Sydney Fringe Festival

In Violent Delights, we explore Shakespeare’s obsession with the worst of human behavior as it lives side-by-side with love and passion. Eight actors take audiences on a journey through pleasure, pain, sexuality, and violence using some of the Bard’s most well-known works. At turns comic and sinister, tragic and raucous, Violent Delights is bloody good fun.

Violent Delights will be performed throughout the Twin Cities as ‘pop-up’ performances between October 18 – November 2 at the following venues:

Friday, October 18 – Music Lab
Saturday, October 19 – The 1887
Wednesday, October 23 – Off Leash Art Box Theater
Friday, October 25 – Music Lab
Saturday, October 26 – Hotbed Studios
Thursday, October 31 – Off Leash Art Box Theater
Friday, November 1 – Music Lab
Saturday, November 1 – The 1887

*Content Warning: Violence, Sexual Assault, Emotional Abuse

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