Friday, January 30, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Dogs of War’ looks between the lines of Shakespeare

The cast of "The Dogs of War" include Shilpa T-Hyland, back row left, Monica Ammerman, Alex Seal, Megan Caton, Wendy Wyatt-Mair, Dan Cato Wilson, Aaron Jessup and Amiee Ouellette, and front row, Alex Greenfield, left, Amanda Vitiello, John Osuji, Micaela Cirimeli and Hannah Sharafian. Abigail Alcala/Courtesy photo

By
From page A11 | May 08, 2013 |

In the know

What: “The Dogs of War”

Where: Wyatt Pavilion Theatre, UC Davis.

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, May 16-18 and 23-25; and 2 p.m. Sundays, May 19, 26

Tickets: Suggested $5 donation at the door; limited seating — first-come, first-served.

Rating: PG-13

Using the text of Shakespeare’s “Wars of the Roses” plays, “The Dogs of War” — adapted and directed by Josy Miller — features often-cut scenes of soldiers, women, children and ghosts, re-examining images of war through common people.

This gritty and visceral interpretation of the Bard’s work, presented by UC Davis Institute for Exploration in Theatre, Dance and Performance, opens Thursday, May 16, and runs through Sunday, May 26, at the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre on campus.

Miller is a doctoral candidate in performance studies. Her Shakespeare adaptation, “The Dogs of War,” emerged through a series of conversations with department of theater and dance professor Peter Lichtenfels concerning what is “not said” in Shakespeare’s plays.

“We explored what the text indicates and invites but does not explicitly articulate,” Miller said. “We found scene after scene of common people whose voices were being silenced — or simply left out — by the ‘authoritative’ voices of those in power, particularly around the subject of war. The goal became to recover these voices and give them a space in which they could be heard.”

Although “The Dogs of War” title reflects a line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” describing soldiers as material incarnations of pure violence, Miller found relevance in it for reclaiming the voices of all commoners.

“Over and over again in the histories, common people — and soldiers in particular — are compared to dogs. Sometimes this is in derogatory ways, but sometimes in ways that elevate them as embodiments of violence,” Miller said.

Miller employs the use of a chorus to map the (un)history of the populace for the audience through “Richard II,” “Henry IV — Parts 1 and 2”, “Henry V,” “Henry VI — Parts 1, 2 and 3” and “Richard III.” Miller’s script is arranged in a way that offers a new episodic story.

Her greatest inspiration derived from several scenes: Henry V’s monologue to the citizens of Harfleur, another scene in which he visits his soldiers in disguise and hears their concerns about the conflict in which they are currently engaged — and their blame of the king; also a “Henry VI, Part III” scene in which the king observes a man dragging a body onstage to steal what belongings he can, only to realize that he has killed his father; and the sequence immediately thereafter in which a man brings a dead body onstage for the same purpose — and this turns out to be the body of his son.

Such scenes disrupt the narratives of the “necessary” or “heroic” war that so often pervade the production of the Wars of the Roses plays. Miller’s “The Dogs of War” explores what would happen if these scenes constituted a play in themselves, if there were no castle to provide a safe retreat. Miller wanted to know what would happen if the audience had to stay with the soldiers on the battlefield. She includes intricately choreographed sword fighting and projection design sure to appeal to viewers who are used to the fast pace of the digital era.

The ensemble cast, working together over four months, played a large part in shaping the production. Master of fine arts candidate Amanda Vitiello-Jensen, who portrays Lord Douglas, chief justice, citizen/messenger and Joan La Pucelle, finds Miller’s long rehearsal process exhilarating and unusual: “Josy has specific ideas but also allows us the freedom for our own contributions. She’s an extraordinary director!”

Miller hopes not only that Shakespeare enthusiasts will attend and provide feedback, but also that people who consider Shakespeare elitist or inaccessible or boring, will come and experience a coarser, scrappier and livelier interpretation of the Bard’s work.

There will be a talk-back with the director immediately following the opening night performance on May 16.

Comments

comments

Enterprise staff

.

News

 
Suspected Ebola patient being treated at UCD Med Center

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

Town hall focuses on Coordinated Care Initiative

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Schools give parents tools to help kids thrive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Stanford University to get $50 million to produce vaccines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Two more cases of measles in Northern California in children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Dartmouth bans hard liquor

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

 
Free tax preparation service begins Monday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3Comments are off for this post

 
No bare bottoms, thanks to CommuniCare’s Diaper Drive

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Still time to purchase tickets for DHS Cabaret

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

All voices welcome at sing-along Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Great Chefs Program will feature Mulvaney

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
February science fun set at Explorit

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Take a photo tour of Cuba at Flyway Nights talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
See wigeons, curlews and meadowlarks at city wetlands

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Forum

Time for bed … with Grandma

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
A ‘new deal’ for the WPA building

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Protect root zone to save trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Weigh quality of life, density

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Olive expert joins St. James event

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We’re grateful for bingo proceeds

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

.

Sports

UCD has another tough football schedule in 2015

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Gould’s influence felt mightily in recent Super Bowls

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Mustangs hold off UCD women

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD men set new school D-I era win record

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Watney, Woods start slow at TPC Scottsdale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Sharks double up Ducks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Recall that first Aggie TV game, national title?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Song of the Sea’ is an enchanting fable

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Artist’s Connection’ launches on DCTV

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
February show at YoloArts’ Gallery 625 is ‘Food for Thought’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Gross’ paintings highlight a slice of Northern California

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, January 30, 2015

By Creator | From Page: A9