Friday, September 7, 2012

Cartoonist at the Theater

What is it people usually put at the top of these kind of posts- Trigger warning? NSFW? Spoiler alert?

 Anyway, I went to see an all-woman production of Titus Andronicus last night by the Upstart Crow Collective (I do love a good tragedy)! And it's a very violent, bloody play where a lot of awful things happen, so I did some bloody and awful in-the-dark sketches during the show, then went came home and added a bit of color.

Amy Thone as Titus

I've only seen one other production of Titus, and that was at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival...ten years ago? I went as part of a college class, and most of my fellow students decided to skip the show because it was "Shakespeare's worst play".  Unfortunate for them it was the best production we saw that week. Yes, the play is over-the-top, full of really graphic violence and just plain weird at times, but that's what good entertainment is all about!
Ki Gottberg as Tamara

It's also a play that is...not very nice to women. I mean, pretty much EVERYONE dies, but the ladies get some especially nasty treatment, which made it interesting to see it performed by an all-woman cast. But, I forgot about the gender of the actors pretty quickly- they were all amazing performers who were completely suited for their roles. Talking with friends after the show, we all agreed that Nike Imoru as Aaron was our favorite, and I don't think I did a very good job capturing just how strong and tense her movements were.
Nike Imoru as Aaron

The rape of Lavinia scene was...really graphic. And uncomfortable. 

I remember the last production I saw using a lot of red scarves instead of blood, the rest of the sets and costumes were grayish so the color was shocking, but still pretty. This production wasn't pretty- and it shouldn't be. What happens to the character is disgusting and violent and should be presented in that way. In that sense, they did a good job.

Brenda Joyner as Lavinia

 Highly recommend the show, go see it! ...if you can stomach it (cannibalism reference)

Other "Comics at the Theater" posts:
Wizard of Oz pt1 and pt2


  1. How wonderful! Your sketches are amazing. Your visually art response the performance art is so exciting to me. Thank you!!!! -Peggy

  2. Beautiful. In a violent graphic way, of course. :-)

    I'm looking forward to seeing this production. I've seen three different productions of the play, and I'm looking forward to seeing this one. Which says a lot because of how grim it is.

  3. Wow! How great to see your response as an artist to our work. Thank you so much for your kind words but especially for your graphic response!

  4. Are we able to buy copies of these? I think they're so incredible - thank you!

    1. I'd be willing to send you guys the originals, since the cost of attendance was so little. Trading art for art!
      Let me know where to ship them to-

  5. Wow, Colleen! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent.