Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Play mixes superheroes and Shakespeare



Thou flyest through the air like a speeding bullet, and web doth fly from thy wrists.

This is an example of what a modern Shakespearean comic book might be like.

Students within the theatre/dance department at UW-Whitewater are exploring these possibilities further with the production of “Spirits to Enforce,” which was originally written by Mickle Maher, of Madison.

The play revolves around a group of Shakespearean spirits, known as The Fathom Town Enforcers, who are trying to raise money for their performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

Twelve superheroes, The Silhouette, The Bad Map, Fragrance Fellow, The Pleaser, Memory Lass, The Page, Ariel, The Ocean, The Untangler, The Intoxicator, The Tune and The Snow Heavy Branch, plea for donations over the phone while struggling to stay alive in their submerged, leaky submarine.


“The play is about superheroes who aren’t necessarily out fighting crime,” junior Keenan Minogue, set designer, said.

He said the big metaphor of the show is that in a world without leadership, divinity and art, the people who are still acting and raising money for productions are considered to be superheroes.

The characters speak as though they are acting in a Shakespearean play, and this dialogue is used to draw out the important details of the plot.

Minogue described the progression of dialogue as “boom, boom, boom.”

“It’s very jumbled,” he said. “Actors speak over each other or right after one another.”

The play was first suggested to faculty within the theatre/dance department by Director Angela Iannone last year.

“We try to make sure scripts will offer challenges for the acting, design, technical and costuming students, as well as trying to choose plays that will enhance the community experience and serve our


student audience,” Iannone said.

The play was originally written in 2003, and has since increased in popularity.

Minogue said Iannone was drawn to this play because the playwright, Maher, currently lives in Wisconsin.

“She is pushing toward a local aspect for theater and wants to make Wisconsin a bigger area for theater,” Minogue said.

In order to replicate the superheroes’ submarine, called “The HQ,” the entire stage of the Barnett Theatre is covered by a large wooden structure.

Building the set was anything but easy Minogue said.

“It’s been quite an endeavor to create a submarine on stage, and some of it has been rather untraditional,” Minogue said. “Nonetheless, it looks really cool, and it’s something that I’m very excited for the campus to see.”

The play opened at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the Barnett Theatre, and will run until Oct. 13.

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Founded 1901
Play mixes superheroes and Shakespeare