Pygmalion: a review

The+poster+advertising+for+the+fall+play+hangs+on+director+John+Ronyaks+classroom+door.

Carleena Byrd

The poster advertising for the fall play hangs on director John Ronyak’s classroom door.

This past weekend the SHS theater department performed their fall play, Pygmalion. After learning and writing about it for my previous article, I knew I had to go see it for myself.

First of all, the talent in this performance was incredible. Every actor did an amazing job bringing their individual character to life, especially with the added obstacle of doing it all with an accent. The comedic timing was executed well, and the space and set were used well to enhance the scene. The cast and crew of this production made the show come together beautifully. 

Being familiar with Sartell’s theater program, I already knew the talent was going to be next-level, so I was primarily there for the plot. I knew many had their opinions on the choice of show, but I had to form my own. What I saw was a story following a misogynist’s objectification of women, which I believe was exactly the point. It was over the top, a dramatized version of what really happens to women daily, and it was used as a satirical commentary on sexism in 20th-century London, as well as our current society. The main proprietor of the misogyny is main character Henry Higgins, and most other characters are quick to call him out on his actions. His exaggerated behavior makes Higgins look like the bad guy, and as most villains do, he loses in the end. His prodigé, Eliza Doolittle, takes back her own freedom and leaves Higgins after he teaches her proper English and decorum.

Calling this show sexist would be along the lines of calling works like To Kill A Mockingbird racist, where both should be regarded as a learning experience. Although both works of fiction, they bring to light real situations that have happened to real people. Ignoring these issues will uphold the discrimination still felt by numerous demographic groups.

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

— George Santayana, writer and philosopher