I recently attended the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s production of Frederick Knott’s thriller “Dial M for Murder.” This play, which first appeared on stage in 1952, details a husband’s plot to murder his wife. Throughout the piece, a motif of woman as object emerges — advanced through a metaphor of keys: A woman is the key to a husband’s lifestyle, a lover’s passion and a detective’s competence. There is an obvious theme of woman as victim as well, which crescendos in a scene of flagrant violence against a woman on stage.
Art seems to mirror life as we bear witness to the objectification and victimization of women in the epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses, numerous reports of domestic violence perpetrated by high-profile male athletes and countless acts of violence against women inflicted by ISIS.
While I hope that ISF chose to produce this play in order to inspire conversation about the objectification and victimization of women in current affairs, after perusing ISF promotional materials, I suspect this is not the case. I implore the artists and patrons of ISF to utilize this piece as a lens through which to examine the status of women in our modern world.
Megan Dunay, Boise