Our reading of Richard III last night was a great success, despite the rainy evening. You can find our Richard program here, which includes historical background and scene summaries courtesy of our director, Angeline Morris. Below, for your viewing pleasure, you can find alternate poster designs from UA art students we thought worthy of honorable mention.
It’s a busy semester, so Improbable Fictions is concentrating its efforts on two performances this spring.
First off, we’ll be presenting a collection of scenes of and about teaching in early modern drama as part of the 2020 Hudson Strode symposium “The Future of Teaching Shakespeare.” Registration is closed for the symposium (we capped out at seventy attendees!), but our performance is free and open to the public. We’ll be reading these scenes at 7:30 pm on Friday, February 21st, 2020 at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Pre-show music begins at 7:15 pm, and a Q&A will follow the approximately 50 minute performance.
Second, IF will present a staged reading of Shakespeare’s Richard III, cut and directed by Angeline Morris, at 6:30 pm on Wed, Mar 4th, 2020, also at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Pre-show music begins at 6:00 pm. We’re partnering with Theatre Tuscaloosa’s SecondStage: Festival of One Acts, a collection of short plays that begins at 8:00 pm on March 4th and runs through the rest of the week. IF’s reading is free and open to the public. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased here.
And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges!
On Wednesday, Oct 2, Improbable Fictions will present Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the first staged reading we performed back in 2010. An excellent way to start out our ELEVENTH season! The details:
- Wednesday, Oct 2, 7:30-9:00 pm in Room 30 of ten Hoor Hall, UA’s Campus
- Free and open to the public, as always
- Sponsored by the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies
It’s that time of year when various actors’ fancies turn to Shakespeare. And the Rude Mechanicals is about to open its 17th season.
Our first show is very contemporary drama-comedy about power, corruption, and sexual assault, Measure for Measure, late comedy-drama of Shakespeare’s. Set in Vienna the story concerns the ruler of the city going on a vacation and putting the power of the law into the hands of Angelo, her assistant. Under the Duchess the city’s laws, especially concerning sexual activities, have not been enforced and Angelo is determined to right this wrong. However when he condemns a young man to die for impregnating his fiancée, his sister, Isabella, a novitiate at the convent, pleads with Angelo to show mercy to her brother, and Angelo gives her the price for that mercy: to give up her body in sin to Angelo. Very serious issues are brought forth, intermingled with Shakespeare’s comic fools, and his supreme language.
We will present Measure for Measure Wednesday-Saturday, May 29-June 1 down at the Park at Manderson Landing, lower level. Music begins at 7:30 and the play begins at 8pm. I have attached our poster. As before, it is FREE.
Then next month, Wednesday-Saturday June 26-29, we will bring you The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare’s early (possibly earliest) very silly and quite dizzying laugh out loud comedy of two sets of twins on a collision course, based on an earlier comedy by the Roman, Plautus. Same times and information.
We look forward to seeing all of you in the park (Or the Allen Bales Theatre if bad weather forces us indoors).
Professor, Playwriting, Theatre History
University of Alabama, Dept. of Theatre and Dance
On April 3, 7:30 pm, at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center (620 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa), Improbable Fictions will stage a selection of readings around the theme of strangers. Pre-show music begins at 7:00 pm. As always, IF events are free and open to the public.
Our inspiration piece for this event is Shakespeare’s monologue about immigration and empathy from the many-authored play Sir Thomas More. The play has gained a lot of attention in recent years, thanks in part to Sir Ian Mckellen, and we wanted to place this powerful passage in its early modern context, staging it alongside excerpts from Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, The Tempest, and Titus Andronicus, as well as selections from medieval folklore, Mandeville, and Brecht. Our hope is to start a conversation about what it means to be treated as a stranger in a strange land both then and now, and UA’s own Dr. Cordelia Ross will kick off a post-show Q&A with some thoughts from her own research on the subject.
We’re still gathering together readers for this event, so if you’re interested in taking part in an IF production, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me on Twitter @nrhelms.
- American Shakespeare Center touring company performance of The Comedy of Errors, Friday, February 15, 7:30PM (pre-show music begins at 7:00PM). Brock Recital Hall, Samford University, Birmingham.
- American Shakespeare Center touring company performance of The Winter’s Tale, Saturday, February 16, 7:30PM (pre-show music begins at 7:00PM). Brock Recital Hall, Samford University, Birmingham.
- Resurgens Theatre Company touring performance of The Changeling, Tuesday, February 26, 7:30PM. Allen Bales Theater, UA.
- Brent Griffin, Artistic Director of the Resurgens Theater Company. Tuesday, February 26. Title TBA. 5PM in the Allen Bales Theatre (UA).
- Wendy Wall (Northwestern University). Thursday, March 28. Title TBA. 5PM in 301 Morgan Hall.
- Monday, January 28: Globe Production of The Duchess of Malfi. Morgan 301, 7:30PM.
- Monday, February 11. Warm Bodies. Bama Theatre, 7:30PM.
- Monday, March 25: Kozintsev’s King Lear. Morgan 301, 7:30PM.
- Monday, April 15: Shakespeare in Love. Bama Theatre, 7:30PM.
- Wed, Jan 16, 6:30pm in 301 Morgan Hall, a cold reading of Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure, dramaturged by Chris Koester (email@example.com).
- Wed, Feb 6, 6:30pm in 301 Morgan Hall, a cold reading of John Lyly’s Gallathea, dramaturged by Mark Hulse (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Wed, Mar 6, time TBA at the Strode House, a cold reading of Margherita Costa’s burlesque “ridiculous comedy” entitled The Buffoons (1641), translated by Jessica Goethals. The reading will be dramaturged by Deborah Parker (email@example.com).
- Wed, Apr 3, 7:30pm at the Tuscaloosa Cultural Arts Center (http://cac.tuscarts.org/contactus.php), a selection of staged readings we’re calling “Early Modern Strangers,” inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Stranger’s Case” from Sir Thomas More (check out Sir Ian McKellen’s reading). The event will include respondents and a Q&A about immigration and crossing borders in the early modern period. Dramaturged by Nic Helms and Cordelia Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Improbable Fictions will be performing Shakespearean Scenes at the 2016 Kentuck Festival of the Arts’ Spoken Word Tent on Oct 15-16. If you’re interested, chime in! We’re still in the early planning stages. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve got two staged readings this month: Machiavelli’s Mandrake on March 10th, directed by Jacob Crawford, and Aristophanes’ Women at the Assembly on March 25th, directed by Prof. Steve Burch of UA’s Dept. of Theatre and Dance and held in conjunction with the Dept. of Modern Languages & Classics conference “Women, Democracy, and the Ideology of Exclusion.” Both shows will take place at the Tuscaloosa Cultural Arts Center (620 Greensboro Ave). Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details! And don’t forget Strode’s next Shakespeare in Film offering on March 23rd, Trevor Nunn’s 1996 Twelfth Night.