Ecological Adaptation in Montana: Timon of Athens to Timon of Anaconda
Minton, Gretchen E.
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In this article Gretchen E. Minton describes her adaptation of William Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton’s 1606 play Timon of Athens. This adaptation, called Timon of Anaconda, focuses on the environmental legacy of Butte, Montana, a mining city that grew quickly, flourished, fell into recession, and then found itself labelled the largest Superfund clean-up site in the United States. Timon of Anaconda envisions Timon as a wealthy mining mogul whose loss of fortunes and friends echoes the boom-and-bust economy of Butte. The original play’s language about the poisoning of nature and the troubled relationship between the human and more-than-human worlds is amplified and adjusted in Timon of Anaconda in order to reflect upon ongoing environmental concerns in Montana. Minton explains the ecodramaturgical aims, site-specific locations, and directorial decisions of this adaptation’s performances, which took place in September 2019. Gretchen E. Minton is Professor of English at Montana State University, Bozeman. She has edited several early modern plays, including Timon of Athens, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, and The Revenger’s Tragedy. She is the dramaturg for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and Bozeman Actors Theatre, and her directorial projects include A Doll’s House (2019), Timon of Anaconda (2019–20), and Shakespeare’s Walking Story (2020).
Minton, G. (2021). Ecological Adaptation in Montana: Timon of Athens to Timon of Anaconda. New Theatre Quarterly, 37(1), 20-37. doi:10.1017/S0266464X20000779