DYSTOPIA–Dystopia College theatre students are working on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona in which nearly all the parts are played by actors in dog costumes, but with the twist that they are dressed as dogs who are dressed in human clothing, according to Asst. Prof. of Theatre Staige Fryte.
Fryte said Valentine, Proteus, Julia, and Silvia will all be portrayed by dogs, as will the Duke of Milan, who will be cast as the pack leader. The plot will remain pretty much faithful to the original, Fryte said, and can be summarized this way:
“Valentine and Proteus sniff each other’s butts. Valentine runs off. Proteus and Julia sniff each other’s butts. Proteus runs off after Valentine. Valentine and Silvia sniff each other’s butts. Thurio tries to sniff Silvia’s butt, but his leash is too short. Proteus sniffs Silvia’s butt, but Silvia doesn’t sniff back. The pack leader chases everyone into the woods, where they run into some silly wolves. Proteus starts humping Silvia, but Valentine interferes. Proteus and Valentine fight, but then they make up and sniff each other’s butts.”
Only Crab, the servant Lance’s dog in the original, will be portrayed as a human–but a human dressed as a leather pup.
Besides putting “an interesting fresh spin” on the play, the adaptation will “simplify the usual problems with Shakespearean language by eliminating it entirely,” Fryte said, “and the big plus for the contemporary ADHD audience is a much shorter running time.”
T. Allen Culpepper