’TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE (PAC): 60-second review

PAC Tis Pity

Stephanie Hodge and Trevor Fayle in ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore Photo by Ashley Smith/Wide Eyed Studios

PAC’s Venture Reading Series form a highlight of the Philadelphia theater calendar. One-off script-in-hand stagings of classic works, they showcase some of the finest actors in the city in delightfully unpolished presentations of underperformed theatrical gems. It’s not that full-run shows by Philadelphia Artists’ Collective aren’t excellent—the company’s best work ranks among the best of Philadelphia theater—but the budgetary and casting restrictions preclude fully realized, large-cast productions of most of the Venture Series shows.

PAC’s ’TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE, which runs March retains only a couple of the (mostly equity) cast members from the 2017 reading, which xxx also directed, but it feels just as enjoyable, energetic, and accessible. The story of young Italian lovers cleaved apart by the circumstances of their birth may sound familiar, and the play was written in England in the decades after Shakespeare’s death, but this is a far cry from the dense, declaimed, 17th century drama audiences may be used to. The lovers (Trevor Fayle and Stephanie Hodge) are brother and sister and xxx’s tragedy is ripe with dark humor about the hypocrisies of love.

Xxx’s cast have fun with the well-drawn characters and give the script sufficient respect without treating it like a historical artifact.

Before the show, PAC passed an an audience survey that seemed to be searching for new directions in which to take the company. On the evidence of ’TIS PITY, they’re already on the right path.

[Philadelphia Artists’ Collective at Philadelphia Boys and Girls Choir, 1336 Spring Garden Street] March 28-April 14, 2019; philartistscollective.org

Reviews, Theater - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , - no comments

About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.