Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shakespeare in Modern America

Here's an article that you all should enjoy! Below is a short essay on my thoughts on some of the subjects discussed.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/dumbing-down-the-bard-are-americans-too-intellectually-lazy-to-appreciate-his-genius/2017/04/27/411a11ba-2917-11e7-a616-d7c8a68c1a66_story.html?tid=ss_fb&utm_term=.69c60ba7480a

        Our company struggles with many of the issues presented in this article on a daily basis. What is the main purpose of performing Shakespeare in the modern era? Are we to cater to the ever-shrinking audience of Shakespearean enthusiasts? Or do we compromise the integrity of his immortal words for the sake of profit? In addition, we face the question regarding what makes Shakespeare’s work transcend these four centuries.
       If Shakespeare’s greatness centers around his plots, what makes his History of Henry V a greater work than the anonymous The Many Famous Victories of Henry V? Then naturally, one must assume that Shakespeare’s immortality stems from his poetry, and not his plot. Yet, in modern society, neither Shakespeare’s love sonnets, nor his narrative poetry have achieved the vitality of his plays.
      Therefore, I would argue that Shakespeare’s profound significance lies in the way in which his plays suit the “action to the word, the word to the action.” (Hamlet, III.ii.). Hamlet’s famous advice to actors here applies to all of Shakespeare’s works in the same way that Aristotle’s Poetics can apply to all Greek Tragedy. Far too often, we actors take these words to heart merely for our performance, yet the meaning equally resonates when applied to plot construction. Shakespeare’s words move both the motion and soul of the actor to enact these age-old, borrowed plots, and rally their emotions to heights of grandeur.
        Yet in the modern era, Shakespeare continually has become eclipsed by works of lesser authors. I do not mean say that the likes of Brecht, O’Neil, Shaw, and Ibsen are not of note, but I mean that Shakespeare surpasses all standards of literature that ever were, and ever will be. How then can we attempt to combat the pervasive erosion of his majesty?
         I do not know. I don't agree with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s decision, because I feel it takes away from his immortality. In essence, I believe it is giving up. However, I do believe in taking Shakespeare to the younger generation through new forms. First and foremost, we must abolish the notion that Shakespeare spoke a different language than that of our current age. There is a reason his works are listed as early modern drama, his language and development of plot are the basis of which all our current works are based in, albeit occasionally using a somewhat antiquated vocabulary.
        Secondarily we must cease the endless debate over whether Shakespeare’s scripts should be placed in non-Elizabethan times. The conflict which arose at the Globe this year was utterly ridiculous. Shakespeare’s plays are immortal because the stories and language reflect that of every age, and confining his plots to those specific timelines not only creates a barrier between a generation born four hundred years after Shakespeare, but also denies those same plots their enduring relevance to the modern age.
         The greatest detriment to Shakespeare performance lies in the classroom. Far too often, teachers require their students to sit in a circle, merely speaking the lines, or, worst of all, reading in silence. In doing so, students walk away often confused and upset that they are forced to read a pointless text. Students must be put on their feet for Shakespeare to truly come to life! If we can energize students in the study of Shakespeare, getting this generation excited about attending one of his plays will be no problem.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hi everybody! New historian here. Congrats to the new exec board! Below are our new officers. Best wishes to everyone on their exams, and have a ~safe~ blow-out!

President - Garrett Chatlin
Vice President - Samantha Terry
Secretary - Becca Symmes
Treasurer - Alex Poirier
Historian - Joseph Allan (Das me!)
Public Relations - Ellie Moonan
Social Chair - Brian Bruno

We are excited to work with y'all on another year of great performances and club activities!

"Do thou amend thy face" - Falstaff; Henry IV, Part 1

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tempest Cast List

Congratulations to the cast of the Tempest, SitD's Spring show 2017 directed by Joey Ernest. This is the first show in a long while SItD will be doing outdoors! We are still looking for people to help with costumes and props, so email shakespeare@email.wm.edu if you are interested.

Cast
Prospero - Sarah Marksteiner
Miranda - Savannah Stevens
Ariel - Alex Poirier
Caliban - Becca Symmes
Trinculo - Tom Kalnas
Stephano - Ivy Duerr
Antonio - Garrett Chatlin
Alonso - Joseph Allan
Sebastian - Jesse Pollack
Ferdinand - John Hollander
Gonzalo - Christopher McDonnell
Adrian/Master of the Ship - Katie Ault
Boatswain/Chorus - Brian Bruno

Chorus of Faeries
Greer Bateman
Brad Riehle
Sabrina Willis

Masked Queens
Iris/Chorus - Gabby Montrond
Ceres/Chrous - Lorien Deyo-Rivera

Juno - Erin Owens

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Show 2016 Cast Announcement!

For our second show of  our 20th aniversary season Shakespeare in the Dark is putting on The Winter's Tale, directed by Sarah Marksteiner and Cosmo Cothran-Bray. Here is the cast list for what promises to be another great show:

Storyteller 1 / Camillo - Garrett Chatlin
Storyteller 2 / Mamillius - Zachary Schiffman
Storyteller 3 / Paulina - Sydney Powell
Leontes - Bruno del Alamo
Hermione - Brennan McCray
Polixenes - Michael Williamson
Antigonus/Florizel - Henry Hines
Emilia / Shepherdess - Alex Poirier
Perdita - Ellie Moonan
Clown / Cleomenes - Rick Stevenson
Shepherd / Dion - John Hollander
Autolycus - Alex Bulova

The show will be performed on February 16th, 17th, and 20th in Commonwealth Auditorium at 8:00PM!

Fall Show 2016 Archive


Fall Show 2016
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Performance Dates: October 30th, 31st, November 1st (2016)
Author: William Shakespeare

Crew
Directors: Garrett Chatlin '19 and Brian Bruno '18
Consulting Director: Molly Earner '16
Stage Manager: Rachel Kilgore '17
Fight Choreography: Cosmo Cothran-Bray '20
Costume Consultant: Erin Wiggins '19
Publicity: Elizabeth Flatt '20
ASM - Eliza Trost '20
Makeup Designer - Samantha Terry '20

Cast
Joseph Allan '20 -- Francisco/Fortinbras
Andrew Brockmeyer '19 -- Voltimand/Gravedigger
Cosmo Cothran-Bray '20 -- Hamlet
Adam Howard '19  -- Laertes
Jeremy Lawrence '17 -- Claudius/Ghost
Sarah Marksteiner '19 -- Ophelia
Brennan McCray '20 -- Bernardo/Ensemble
Ellie Moonan '19 -- Horatio
Jesse Pollack '19 -- Rosencrantz
Sydney Powell '18 -- Marcellus/Ensemble
Rick Stevenson '19 -- Polonius/Osric
Becca Symmes '19 -- Gertrude
Ryan Vaughn '19 -- Guildenstern

Theme
     Modern Dress with an ambiguous time and place.

Director's Note
Brian and I would like to thank all of the cast and crew who made this show possible. Hamlet is a large undertaking and all of this is thanks to countless hours put in by so many people.
We'd also like to like to extend special thanks to Molly Earner and Tom Kalnas for providing helpful advice throughout the process.

The film of this production can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2buDRhu0h6g

Shakespeare in Modern America

Here's an article that you all should enjoy! Below is a short essay on my thoughts on some of the subjects discussed. https://www.wash...