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Mendacity. It's a town in the Old West on the Kansas border with a saloon, a bank, a bathhouse, a jail, and a supply store. Tumbleweeds blow through the main drag and you stand facing a haggard, toothless adversary who looks vaguely like Dwight Schrute about thirty yards away. Truthkiller McLie, he's called, the local shenanigan.
McLie glares at you in the hot sun, flares his nostrils, and flicks his fingertips over his holster. You, the newly appointed Sheriff, have a penchant for Shakespeare. Mendacity doesn't take too kindly to books, and has gotten wind of your weekly Shakespeare nights in the grocer's storage room where you, Rosamond the painted lady, the grocer, and the butcher gather to read Hamlet . No siree, Mendacity doesn't like the looks of such mischievous organization, and they have sent McLie to take care of you. You can either:
A) Stay and fight McLie and risk dying in the name of reciting Shakespeare freely and following through with your lifelong plan of opening a theater and creating a company of actors.
B) Surrender to McLie, give him your badge and your Sheriff's responsibilities, feign disgust for your blasphemous book habit, and get a job waiting tables at the saloon so that you can keep up your Shakespeare nights in secret. OR
C) Surrender to McLie and become his lackey and assistant, burning your sacred Shakespeare anthology at the weekly book burning session and enforcing anti-Shakespeare laws throughout the land.
OK, OK! So maybe we don't often find ourselves with a shiny new Sheriff's badge in a town called Mendacity ready to go nose-to-nose with a Dwight Schrute look-alike. And maybe there are few places in the world where Shakespeare is not considered to be the raddest thing since sliced ham. And maybe it is rare that we are risking our lives to pursue what we love to do, think about, and discuss.
But we do all have dreams (cue the music, sunset, and singing lobster). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof explores what happens when we dream about things that society tells us we shouldn't, things like knee-high socks, robots, or Renaissance fairs; except in this play, it's about choosing to love someone when society says it's wrong.
We all know that feeling of self-betrayal. It's kind of like when you threw away your homemade lunch before lunchtime everyday in 2nd grade because people made fun of the pickled beets (secretly your most favorite food in the world) that your dad cooked especially for you. Or like that time you spent almost an hour making fun of Hanson with your friends, even though you have an autographed picture of the brothers framed on your bedroom wall, and even though the term Middle of Nowhere means something very different to you than it does to the rest of the world. You know: earth shattering, monumental moments like these when we kill a little bit of ourselves for the sake of belonging to the right team and not feeling so lost in the wide blue yonder.
Oh boy, you say, what the hey is Shmoop talking about?! We mean to ask questions. Namely, is it better to be on the "right team" or to strap on your knee socks and eat pickled beets with Hanson-loving robots? How do we know we are happy, and what makes us, well, us?
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