Lisa Wolpe has triumphed in Verona. 55-minute monologue in which she presented her personal interpretation of gender themes in Baldo literature to the Shakespeare Fringe Festival stage. Wolfe stunned the audience last August 25 with “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender,” a play she created and performed.
The American actress, director, teacher, writer, and scholar interpreted Anglo-Saxon literature for our times by bringing her activism experience to the stage to discuss gender equality, racism, and diversity. Themes are interlaced with an intimate narrative about his family, particularly his father Hans Wolpe, who served in World War II, and reflections on Shylock, Hamlet, Richard III, and other Shakespearean characters.
“Shakespeare – she remarked in an interview (link to our video here) – speaks about and to everyone. And it is for that reason that he is crucial to study, particularly in schools, “because he helps us ask the big questions… In every country, there is a reason to do Shakespeare,” Wolpe stated. And the actress specifically addresses the recent banning of a Miami school that prohibited the study of Baldo’s works owing to sexual undertones in his books.
Wolfe also stated that “there is a huge crackdown on intelligence in the United States. They have defunded education, banning people from reading books; there are television stations that tell lies; and now they are erasing Shakespeare in many places.”
Lisa Wolpe uses critical words to describe the current situation.
Wolpe’s talent has taken her around the world; she has brought Shakespeare’s plays from London to Prague to Bremen, and last Friday, for the first time, she also landed in the city of Romeo and Juliet. “All over the world,” she continues, “there are different political regimes and cultures. It’s exciting to go where people break bread, make friends, and create art, and I hope the United States remains a free nation where democracy is strong and artists are supported.”
“But right now theaters are closing all over the country, partly because of COVID, partly because of politics, and partly because of money. Artists have never needed a lot of money to start their plays, but it’s scary not only to see theaters closing but also Shakespeare being banned.”
As a result, we can see the importance of activism in Shakespeare and the alchemy of gender. In fact, Wolpe is active in the world of artists; for example, she founded the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, which is made up of females from all over the world.