Current Events

CURRENT EVENTS

2013-2014 Season T-Shirt
Contact Jason Via to purchase! Only $10!

Next Meeting
March 2nd

Spring Show Selected
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Cast List

Directed by Kat Knoerl 

Assistant Director Bethany Bennet

Cast
Rosencrantz: Libby Miserendino
Guildenstern: Zach Hurst
The Player: Barclay Sparrow
Hamlet: Carter Shirley
Ophelia: Isabel Steven
Claudius: Jeremy Lawrence
Gertrude: Lucy King
Polonius: Gerhard Jansen
Alfred/Horatio: Matthew Spears-Heinel

Tragedians: Molly Earner, Tom Kalnas, Riley Cruickshank, Alison Gerhard

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Shakespeare Jubilee


Let's talk about David Garrick and my passionate love-hate relationship with him.

David Garrick will rank, easily, in any list of influential Shakespearean actors.  But Garrick was more than an actor. He was a well known producer, playhouse manager, playwright and (as we shall see) poet.  In short, Garrick was one of the most active and well known figures of the English theater scene during the mid-18th century.

We have him to thank for the three-day-Shakespeare's-birthday-orgy in Stratford in 1769.  I'm only half-kidding when I say this was an orgy.  The Shakespeare Jubilee, as it is called, was the closest you could get to an orgy in 18th century England.

I cannot overstate the cultural importance of the Shakespeare Jubilee for the English speaking and reading world. This event highly influenced the growing cultural obsession with Shakespeare as an author and national figure.  He was rapidly achieving god-like status in the minds of English and this mentality has traversed centuries, oceans and a revolution to reach us in our 21st century American classrooms. This movement came to be called "bardolatry". As you can see this is just the words "bard" and "idolatry" put together.  No further definition required.

To illustrate the tone of the Jubilee,  I will post part of an ode to Shakespeare written and recited by Garrick especially for the occasion.

It's not at all subtle.  And the emphasis on "rapture" and "pleasure" increases in frequency as the poem continues. This poem, and the subsequent reactions by a few hysterical females in the audience, indicate the  religious and semi-sexual undertones of bardolatry culture.

I have bolded a few choice words and phrases.

An Ode Upon Dedicating a Building, and Erecting a Statue, to Shakespeare, At Stratford Upon Avon.

To what blest genius of the isle,
Shall Gratitude her tribute pay,
Decree the festive day,
Erect the statue, and devote the pile?

Do not your sympathetic hearts accord,
To own the ‘bosom’s lord?’
’Tis he! ’tis he!—that demi-god!
Who Avon’s flow’ry margin trod,
While sportive Fancy round him flew,
Where Nature led him by the hand,
Instructed him in all she knew,
And gave him absolute command!
’Tis he! ’tis he!
‘The god of our idolatry!’
To him the song, the Edifice we raise,
He merits all our wonder, all our praise!
Yet ere impatient joy break forth,
To tell his name, and speak his worth,
And to your spell-bound minds impart
Some faint idea of his magic art;
Let awful silence still the air!

From the dark cloud, the hidden light
Bursts tenfold bright!
Prepare! prepare! prepare!
Now swell at once the choral song,
Roll the full tide of harmony along;
Let Rapture sweep the trembling strings,
And Fame expanding all her wings,
With all her trumpet-tongues proclaim,
The lov’d, rever’d, immortal name!
SHAKESPEARE! SHAKESPEARE! SHAKESPEARE!
Let th’ inchanting sound,
From Avon’s shores rebound;
Thro’ the Air,
Let it bear,

The precious freight the envious nations round!

I'm forced to admire Garrick's pluck and textbook fangirling. 
But I'm also deeply concerned about what his hard-core-nerding-out did to the English psyche.

Shakespeare was rapidly becoming too great for his own good.  He could no longer be spoken of as a man, even a profoundly gifted and inspired man: he was a god.  This distinction drew a line between SHAKESPEARE, and the rest of us mere mortals. This rhetoric totes along a few troubling implications:


  1. artistic greatness is a commodity; and possessed by a privileged, elite, few
  1. artistic greatness is only attainable for those who have access to the right education, the right social contacts, and the right kind of cultured experiences.
I will attempt to unpack these points, as they relate to Shakespeare's legacy and our own experiences as artists, in a future post.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Romeo and Juliet: Romance or Red Flag?

So I found a quote on the Internet, as you do, that references one of the greatest controversies to ever grace 9th grade English class. A gross oversimplification is: are Romeo and Juliet in love or crazy?

What do you all think?

Does the fact that their acquaintance only span 3 days delegitimize the strength of their love? What kind of love would prompt suicide and is this self-sacrifice admirable or troubling?

I actually found this quote on a canvas tote bag.  So if there is a dearth of Shakspeare apparel and ephemera in your life, go forth and purchase. Here is the link: http://www.gisforgift.com/a-romantic-milan-fashion-week/#.VNJnvp3F-HQ


Spring Proposals Due TONIGHT

Remember, spring play proposals are due at midnight.  Please email them to shakespeare@email.wm.edu.


I have little to no justification for this cat meme.  Except that I imagine this is how Shakespearean actors feel when they wake up in the morning.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome Back!

A very enthusiastic "Welcome Home" to you all!

As we kick off the new semester, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Shakespeare love you...always
  2. Get pumped for Henry IV Part 1!!!!
  3. Bear in mind that proposals for the Spring show are due February 4th

In other news, a cursory internet search of the words "shakespeare cat" yielded....
funny pictures memes

Monday, December 1, 2014

Henry IV Part 1 Cast List

Henry IV Part 1
Directed by Bruno del Alamo and Zach Hurst


Matt Black: Glendower/John of Lancaster/Ensemble
Henry Hines: Bardolph/Ensemble
Kirsten Koch: Mortimer/Francis/Ensemble
Jeremy Lawrence: Harry “Hotspur” Percy
Kirsten Linder: Westmoreland/Peto
Libby Miserendino: Falstaff
Honora Overby: Gadshill/Vernon
Karen Smith: Northumberland/Host/Ensemble
Max Sorger: Worcester/Sheriff
Paul Soutter: Poins/The Douglas
Barclay Sparrow: Sir Walter Blunt/Lady Percy
Isabel Steven: Prince Hal
Catherine Strycharz: Henry IV
Mary Turgeon: Hostess/Ensemble

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors


Author: William Shakespeare (1594)
Performed: November 5, 6 & 9 at 9 PM in Commonwealth Auditorium

Cast

Aegeon/ Pinch helper: Jeremy Lawrence
Duke Solinus/ Pinch helper: Jason Via
Jailer/ Officer: Honora Overby
Antipholus of Syracuse: Henry Hines
Dromio of Syracuse: Bruno Del Alamo
Antipholus of Ephesus: Matthew Spears- Heinel
Dromio of Ephesus: Max Sorger
Adriana: Catherine Strycharz
Luciana: Isabel Steven
Angelo: Hayley Wenk
Balthazar/ Second Merchant: Shannon Fineran
Aemelia/ Luce: Libby Miserendino
Servant/ Pinch/ First Merchant: Abigail Russo
Courtezan: Riley Cruickshank
Strongman: Matthew Black




Crew

Director: Erin McIntyre
Assistant Directors: KJ Moran and Bethany Bennett
Stage Manager: Cat Grundy
Assistant Stage Managers: Abigail Simon and Rachel Kilgore
Costumes: Stacey Loveland and Abigail Simon
Slapstick and Fight Coordinator: Jason Via
Clown Consultant: John Ponder White

Special Thanks:

Photogrpahy- Jordan Leek