Part One

The Warrior Women, from Violence to Negotiation

Part One examines the early writings of William Shakespeare, his journey to becoming a playwright and actor, and the role of theatre in Elizabethan England. We also examine the first plays that Shakespeare wrote, including his early comedies (The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Love’s Labour’s Lost) and early histories (Henry VI: Parts 1, 2, 3, and Richard III). The performance ends with the first major change in Shakespeare’s attitude and portrayal of women: Juliet. “How,” Packer asks, “is Shakespeare’s writing impacted when he portrays a young girl as intelligent, poetic and courageous as her Romeo?”

Although it is the foundation of all the subsequent parts, Part One also stands by itself as a performance, and is a terrific place to start if you’re new to Shakespeare.