A new Rich take on Shakespeare

By Jennifer Deligne

The world of Shakespeare has a new and raunchy angle in “Shakespeare’s *itches: The Musical”, a one-woman show performed by Kean professor Susanna Rich on May 7 and 8. Rich has composed a compilation of songs all written from the point of view of Shakespeare’s female characters.

“Well I couldn’t call it Shakespeare’s bitches and think of myself of being invited to schools, so we have the wonderful truncation sign which is the asterisks and I said okay let’s make it Shakespeare’s, asterisks, itches. That became much more interesting because it could be Shakespeare’s bitches and witches and riches and stitches… so it became an inspiration,” said Rich.

In the production, she spoke in the voice of Lady Macbeth before she killed herself, and how doing so will set her free.

All of the songs were staged in different ways. One song was provocatively danced by Rich in “Dark Lady.” Others were melodic and soft showing the feelings of the singer/songwriter.

Dr. Rich is a professor, published poet and Shakespeare enthusiast, and teaches both subjects in Kean University. She has performed other original shows such as “Television Daddy” and “The Drive Home: A Staged Poetry Reading,” where her poems are brought to life in lively interactive presentations, which are directed by fellow Kean Professor Ernest Wiggins.

Dr. Rich can be an inspiration to any who watch her shows or read her poetry with the uniqueness each piece brings. It takes the viewer out of the box and into a new shape and form, seeing the many points of view of something as classic and popular as Shakespeare.

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