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Plays & Stuff

The Wayward Women: Quill’s Moon Speech

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Gilly Guire as Aquiline, Act 4, Scene 3 of The Wayward Women

Aquiline’s Moon Speech is a direct parallel of Prince Hal’s Sun Speech from Henry IV Part 1.
Hal’s speech always struck me as smug and superior; he seems to be insisting that it’s okay for him to fart around like these inferior folks because he knows he is above all that. He makes it sound deliberate, like he is intentionally ignoring his responsibilities so that he will be all the more impressive when he finally decides to do his job. The first time I read this, I immediately thought of Old Testament passages where a wrathful god visits horrors on an unsuspecting population specifically (and by his own admission) to show everyone how great he is. There have of course been performances where Hal seems more like he’s trying to convince himself of this rather than resting on the laurels that a historically-informed playwright has granted him, and it’s those interpretations that helped bring me to Quill and the Moon Speech. (The speech itself was suggested by Amy Harmon; I was too starstruck to refuse).
While Hal’s Sun Speech is an overt nod to one man’s ascension to take responsibility for his divinely-bestowed birthright, Quill’s Moon Speech (I hope) is more a contemplation of an entire generation that has been given no purpose nor guidance, told that the greatest generations came before them, and responds to this paralyzing criticism by deciding to find their own ways, no matter how many paths, mistakes, or identities that might require.
COSTUMES by Delena Bradley
LIGHTING by Benjamin Dionysus
PHOTO by INDie Grant Productions, LLC
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