The spring semester is winding down, and it’s time for me to recap IF’s recent work. February’s reading of The Merchant of Venice, directed by Deborah Parker, was a complete success: great performances, great adaptation, great audience. February’s snowpocalypse and subsequent school cancelations forced us to move the show back by two weeks, however, and also forced us to push back the performance date for Steve Burch’s A Tiger’s Heart, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s first tetralogy. IF ran several cold read workshops to assist with the adaptation process, but there just wasn’t enough time in this snow-laden semester to bring the material to a satisfying performance. We decided to postpone A Tiger’s Heart to a future semester, TBA. Blame the snow!
Many of IF’s regular readers are graduating this semester. Congrats especially to Joey Gamble, Adella Smith, and Amber Smith, who have worked with IF for the past four years. Needless to say, these seniors were swamped this April, so we tried a new format for our staged reading of Comedy of Errors: no rehearsals, complete improvisation. The script was cut, cast, and distributed before the show, but wasn’t put on its feet until the night of April 18th. It proved to be an excellent experiment by my lights, especially for a comedy concerned with error. The audience’s laughter seemed to come not only from Shakespeare’s humor but also from the enthusiasm of the actors as they tackled the material, making mistakes but sticking doggedly to the play in the process. It’s not an approach that would work for every play, but it’s something we may return to occasionally. You can hear the results here:
And now, announcements! The fall 2014 season is still very much in flux. Right now I have my heart set on two shows: Shakespeare’s Richard III and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. More to come when I know things for certain.
Here are two Rude Mechanicals shows you can definitely put on your calendars: Julius Caesar, directed by Steve Burch, May 28-31 in Mars Spring Park; Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Mark Cobb, June 25-28 in Mars Spring Park.
As always, if you’re interested in being involved in IF or the Rude Mechs, reach out to us via blog, Facebook, or email and we’ll be sure to get you involved.
Hudson Strode presents Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s *Caesar Must Die* (2012) on April 14th, 2014 at the Bama Theatre. The film is set in a prison in Rome, where inmates rehearse for a prison performance of Shakespeare’s *Julius Caesar.* The screening is free and open to the public.