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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Show 2016

Much Ado About Nothing

Performance Dates: April 17th, 18th, 19th (2016)
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1623 (First Folio)

Top (Left to Right): Leonato, Antonio
Middle (Left to Right): Don Pedro, Hero, Claudio
Bottom (Left to Right): Benedick, Beatrice

Directors -- Shawn Gardner and Rachel Kilgore
Stage Manager -- Maddie Gaetano
Assistant Stage Manager -- Madison Hauser
Costumes/Hair/Makeup -- Kirsten Koch
Composer/Musical Consultant -- Michael Sparrow
Choreographer/Dance Consultant -- Erin Girven
Publicity -- Rebecca Solitar
Pianist  -- Steven Roach
Saxifonist -- Patrick Poehalios

Benedick -- Zach Hurst
Beatrice -- Gillian Giudice
Claudio -- Garrett Chatlin
Hero -- Maddy Wheeler
Don John -- Emily Flack
Boracio -- Allison Greenday
Conrade -- Brian Bruno
Don Pedro -- Katie Ault
Dogberry -- Jimmy Cooper
Verges -- Alex Poirier
Leonato -- Jesse Pollack
Margaret/Sexton -- Elizabeth Dannenfelser
Friar Frances/Watchman 1 -- Sarah Marksteiner
Ursula/Watchman 2 -- Olivia Thomas
Antonio/Watchman 3 -- Becca Symmes

     Set in a post-WWII jazz hall.  Plays on themes of feminine power and authority, as well as drawing attention to the varying and changing roles of women during this era.  Music is used throughout to emphasize parts of the show, character relationships, or as a tool to provide an emotional background to our idea for the interpretation of how a specific character should be represented in this context.

Director's Note
Much Ado About Nothing written between 1598 and 1599, continues to be one of Shakespeare’s most popular works.  The show plays on themes of gender roles, mistaken identity, gossip, warfare, and deception.  The main couple, Benedick and Beatrice are both confirmed to never marry.  Their sarcastic banter gives us some of the most iconic lines in Shakespeare’s repertoire.   Through clever gossip and deception, Don Pedro contrives to bring Benedick and Beatrice together in love, a ruse which in the end reveals their true affection for one another. Meanwhile, Claudio and Hero are far too quick to jump into marriage, giving the villainous Don John an opportunity to call doubt upon their wedding.  In the end Don John’s plot is revealed, all culminating in classic and iconic double wedding scene.

Our adaptation, placed in a post-World War Two jazz hall, allows us to play with themes of female empowerment and the role of returning soldiers in post-war America.  We herein portray Claudio and Benedick as returned soldiers attempting to find a way to re-integrate into a society that has been shaken up by war-time reforms.  Beatrice, who has always been a figure of a powerful woman, is played against her cousin Hero, who here typifies the role of a 1940’s housewife.  In addition to this, we see another type of feminine independent power exemplified in Don John and Don Pedro, who individually use their influence to bring about an end which they desire -- to varying degrees of success.

Pre-Show Podcast by Lydia House

Top (Left to Right): Leonato, Antonio
Bottom (Left to Right): Leonato, Don Pedro, Antonio

Top: Benedick
Bottom (Left to Right): Benedick, Beatrice

Top (Left to Right): Claudio, Hero
Bottom (Left to Right): Hero, Claudio

Top: Watchman 1
Middle: Verges
Bottom (Left to Right): Verges, Dogberry

Top: Don John
Bottom (Left to Right): Conrade, Don John, Boracio

Top (Left to Right): Margaret, Ursula
Bottom (Left to Right): Margaret, Ursula

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Goodbye and Hello

So long, farewell, I'm going away for awhile. The shiny newly minted Shawn Gardner will take over the blog and facebook page this coming spring.  I hope that everyone at home and abroad is resting and reviving themselves.  It's been a hard year for many of us.  I wish I knew for a fact that the coming year will be easy, but I don't.  I do know that I've seen a tremendous show of strength, courage and good humor from you all this year. Whatever happens, I have faith in you to meet the new year with stalwart resilience.  You are equipped.

As I hand over the reigns to Shawn, I wanted to mention once more how honored I am by your friendship and fellowship.  Shakespeare in the Dark is my treasure.  Every artist and friend that this club has produced is a treasure.  I know that you will do extraordinary things in spring 2016, in all areas of your life. For the moment, continue to rest.  Even if you feel bored and listless.  There will be plenty of time to strive, innovate, and overwork yourselves later.  So for now, ease back into the lull.  Allow yourself to live in this pause between what was and what will be. Keep breathing. You have what it takes.  Trust me. For now, rest and pause on the threshold of the new year.

Love from an almost abroad,

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Two Noble Kinsmen

Full Show Video

Cast List

Palamon Aberdeen Bowman
 Molly Earner
 Barclay Sparrow
 Jimmy Cooper
 Becca Symmes
 Ryan Vaughn
 Rae Mischel Thompson-Cooper
Jailer's Daughter
 Shawn Gardner
 Garrett Chatlin
 Kaite Ault
                  Andrew Brockmeyer
                  Brian Bruno
                  Sara Franklin-Gillette
                  Naomi Kasonga 
                  Kirsten Koch
                  Alexandra Poirier

Ambiguously modern setting.  Main themes revolve around the choice to cast women in the primary roles.  While for the most part the show treats the implied underlying lesbian subtext as a non-issue, the approach that some characters such as Hippolyta and the Jailer take to this issue exemplify where the world is today with queer issues: generally accepting of the idea, but mostly uncomfortable with the reality.

While it is unclear whether Two Noble Kinsmen is a comedy, tragedy, romance, or really any other clear genre from the text, due to the fact that our fall show was Julius Caesar, which dealt with some really heavy themes, we chose to take a more comedic route with our interpretation as a general rule.

After show podcast by Lydia House

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Apply to Be the New Webmaster/Historian

Sad as it is to say, I will not be able to maintain my duties as Historian and Webmaster next semester.  I will be abroad living a glamorous and cosmopolitan life. So don't you worry about me! If you are interested in being the Shakespeare in the Dark's Historian next spring, perk up your little ears.

The Historian's responsibilities are as follows, quoted from the constitution:
"maintain accurate records of all club activities and productions, and serve as the Webmaster in charge of updating the website. He or she shall perform active research on the history of the club and work to improve the Digital Archive.  He or she shall coordinate with the director regarding the filming and documentation of productions."

Primarily the historian must be able to  manage the blog, tumblr, and Facebook page for the group.  Additionally, they will be called upon to safe house the SitD archive.

To apply, please submit a brief personal statement addressing your experiences that qualify you for the position.  Additionally, outline why you are interested in participating in Shakespeare in the Dark in a leadership position.

Applications are due to shakespeare@email.wm.edu at midnight Sunday, November 29th.

Applicants will be selected by election of the current executive members.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Winter Show Announced

William Shakespeare's apocryphal Two Noble Kinsmen will grace Commonwealth's stage this winter.

Auditions are underway, and callbacks are TONIGHT. So good luck to all of you hopefuls.
If you are interested in ways you can add to the production through technical and publicity capacities, please contact the director Jason Via (viajason9@gmail.com).

Any other queries you can send to shakespeare@email.wm.edu.

You may ask, "what is Two Noble Kinsmen?" And well may you ask, it isn't commonly performed and the plot is obscure.  Even the Reduced Shakespeare Company mischaracterizes it their otherwise inviolate Complete Works Abridged.

Two Noble Kinsmen is adapted from  "The Knight's Tale", a tragicomedy  told along the pilgrims' journey in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.   The story is brimful with love triangles, friendships soured by competition, imprisoned princes, tournaments, Greeks, and  crazy jailer's daughters (there's only one of those really).

It will be dramatic. It will be exciting in the extreme.  Thrills and chills await you gentle reader when you witness it performed (at some undetermined date).

Stay tuned for the cast list.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fall Show 2015

Julius Caesar

Performance Dates: October 29th, November 1st and 2nd
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1623 (First Folio)
Directors- Molly Earner and Abby Russo
Stage Manager- Rachel Kilgore
Assistant Stage Manager- Maddie Gaetano
Costume Designer- Honora Overby
Technical Director- Hayley Wenk
Fight Choreographer- Jason Via
Sound Design- Kat Knoerl
Publicity- Abby Kahler and Rachel Kilgore

Special Thanks: Christine Fulgham (Production Photographs)

Marcus Brutus- Isabel Steven
Caius Cassius- Becca Symes
Julius Caesar- Clive LePage
Mark Antony- Jason Via
Casca- Andrew Brockmeyer
Decius- Ryan Vaughn
Cinna- Tom Vesters
Metellus Cimber- Honora Overby
Trebonius- Kat Knoerl
Ligarius- Shawn Gardner 
Flavius/ Servant- Lydia House
Marullus/ 3rd Citizen- Garrett Chatlin
Artemidorus/Octavius Caesar- Daniel Burruss 
Calpurnia/ 1st Citizen- Elizabeth Dannenfelser
Portia/ 2nd Citizen/ messenger- Isabelle Baucum 
Lucius- Brian Bruno

Set in a late 1920's mental hospital. The script was re-cut in order to make Cassius a delusion of Brutus' paranoid schizophrenia, this production draws on the theme of insanity and amplifies the concept of damaged inter-personal relationships exhibited throughout the play.

After show podcast by Lydia House


Monday, October 26, 2015

Happening This Weekend

All the blood, sweat, and tears are coming together and producing a beautiful work of art.  That's right, Shakespeare in the Dark will premier its fall production, Julius Caesar, this weekend.

Come see the quirky, manic, and paranoid inmates of Rome plot Caesar's assassination!

Commonwealth Auditorium:
October 29th at 8 pm
November 1st at 8 pm
November 2nd at 8 pm

Here is a nifty trailer for your delight and delectation.

Additionally, at 6 pm on November 2nd the club will finish reading The Tempest in TUCKER HALL.