Improbable Fictions, Spring 2017

I’m pleased to announce the spring 2017 lineup for Improbable Fictions! We’re organizing a wide variety of events this semester, including workshops on Shakespearean appropriations and two separate staged readings, one of Shakespeare and one of the early modern Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon. For the first four events, we ask that you RSVP to to indicate your interest.

  • Sunday, Jan 29th from 7:00 to 9:30pm, a cold reading workshop of Meredith Noseworthy’s What Vicious Loves. 301 Morgan Hall.
  • Tuesday, Feb 7th from 7:00 to 9:30pm, a cold reading workshop of work by Diamond Forde. 301 Morgan Hall.
  • Sunday, Feb 26th from 7:00 to 10:00pm, a staged reading of Meredith Noseworthy’s What Vicious Loves. 205 Gorgas Library.
  • Thursday, Mar 30th from 7:30 to 9:30pm, a staged reading of Perdon Calderon’s Life is a Dream, directed by Deborah Parker ( 205 Gorgas Library. Contact Deborah for details.
  • Sunday, April 16th from 7:30 to 9:30pm, a staged reading of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Annie Levy ( 205 Gorgas Library. Contact Annie for details.

Finally, I’d like to note that the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies is thrilled to be hosting the American Shakespeare Center’s “Hungry Hearts Tour 2017” for two (FREE!) productions at the BAMA Theatre, February 10-11: The Two Gentleman of Verona and Romeo and Juliet.

Both performances begin at 7:30 (with pre-show music beginning at 7:00PM). These shows are free and open to the public. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

This is a rare opportunity to see a longstanding, professional Shakespeare company perform free of charge (most of the host institutions are charging admission for ASC shows, but we are making them available to students, faculty, and members of the community for free to encourage as broad and large an audience as possible).

We have a dedicated webpage for the ASC shows:

The website includes more information about both performances as well as a brief history of the ASC and its unique, high-energy performance style based on Shakespeare’s original staging conditions.

Strode ASC Poster 2017.png

Spring 2014 in Review: Comedy of Errors, audio and text

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:

Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, adapted by Nic Helms

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.