Senior Megan Marod will conclude her directing career at the
University with William Shakespeare’s first tragedy,
“Titus Andronicus,” and an equally powerful political
message. Notorious for its morbidity, psychological games and
characters pushed to emotional limits, “Titus
Andronicus” deals with the consequences of violence.

The play begins and ends with the words “Noble
pity.” Marod believes Shakespeare is saying that to be
pitiful is to be noble and one doesn’t always have to
substitute one hand for another. With this play she hopes to send
the message that, “In the post-9-11 world there is another
way besides violence.”

Poet Ben Jonson once said that Shakespeare “was not of a
time, but for all time.” Marod hopes that the audience will
see that “people have been having the same problems for
basically all eternity and maybe we can find better
solutions.” The issues and message of “Titus
Andronicus” prove especially timely in today’s world.
By taking the classical works that aren’t about Iraq, but
that deal with the issues of “war, media, politicians and
violence and the loss of loved ones … by presenting the
message in a more allegorical way, hopefully the message becomes an
even more powerful one and reaches a larger audience,” Marod
said.

Consequently, she has eliminated a distinct time period in order
to accentuate the timelessness of the story’s themes. The
cast will be outfitted in mainly Roman togas, and the females will
be wearing Elizabethan dresses to represent the influence of the
Shakespearian era on the story. The audience can see how the Roman
story intersects with modern life and is flavored by
Shakespeare.

Marod’s advice to perspective audience members is to pay
special attention to the “dinner scene, where Tamara is fed a
pie with her two sons baked in it, and to Marcus’s monologue
to Livinia after her hands and tongue have been cut off.”
These exemplify the power struggle in the play and are among two of
her favorite scenes.

“It is important to do this play right now because it lets
us see the consequences of the morbidity,” Marod said.
“It also shows how as people push past the violence, they
create these amazing bonds.”

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