The Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe is presenting two adaptations of Shakespeare works at the Gorton Theater. I went to opening night on Thursday, and it was great! One might think that Shakespeare would be intimidating, but the actors do a great job of making it accessible. You also get to hear some lively Shakespearean insults when the characters take each other on (“Get lost, you dwarf, you tiny little weed, you scrap, you acorn!”) Here are a few photos. (For more photos, click here.) First in the show is ad adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Second is a version of King Lear:
More photos of the performances (and rehearsals) here.
– Fr. Matthew Green
This Thursday night (opening night) is pay-what-you-like, so it’s a great opportunity to get a taste of live performance of Shakespeare at a bargain price! Not that the regular ticket price of $15 is expensive to begin with…
I was there for some of the rehearsals and it looks like these two plays will be really good!
– Fr. Matthew Green
Most of what I think I do as a father is spend huge amounts of time reminding my kids about obvious things like that they can’t go outside in the rain wearing just socks on their feet. If someone said to me at that moment: "You kid and her class are capable of pulling off a pitch-perfect rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream" I’d laugh out loud.
"You mean the kid outside in the rain with the socks on?"
But this is why we have schools and great teachers, to remind us occasionally that there are deep, deep wells of talent in those kids. Beyond what we can imagine.
This clip is from East Gloucester Elementary fifth grade play, last night.
Tonight is sold out, but there may still be tix for the Sat matinee at 2.
Hey Joe, enclosed are some stills from the dress rehearsal of A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at the East Gloucester School.
A couple of fun things to note:
1. As you can tell from the photos, all the costumes and set are
recycled and re-purposed. We used leftovers from home remodeling
projects, bits from other productions, an old fishing net for the
backdrop and the costumes are 100% attic and back-of-closet (Made
AWESOME by the extreme talents of Kelly Montagnino!) In fact, my
daughter Rebecca, the girl in the middle wearing white, is sporting a
rig made from components that includes a dress my wife used to wear
when we were in college. Somehow, it doesn’t seem that long ago.
2. As you probably can’t tell from the photos, a solid number of
adults went irretrievably insane putting this thing together. We had
every imaginable challenge, practically no budget, not a lot of time
and a school built during a period where postwar scarcity meant
exactly zero frills. I swear that the Globe Theater in London where
Shakespeare performed his plays in 1600 was more technically advanced
than EGS (though we have notably fewer plague rats). Remember that
scene in "Shakespeare in Love" when everything goes wrong but the
director says that it will all work out, even though he doesn’t know
how. "It’s a mystery," he says. It’s totally like that. In the end it
turned out way past our wildest expectations. Teamwork, time and crazy
amounts of talent were brought to bear. Incredible. The costumes and
set are almost as cool as the kids.
3. But OMG, the kids. They, on other hand, have been nothing but pure
amazing. The language, the emotion, the physical comedy. They just
picked it up and ran with it. Kids who you thought were quiet
wallflowers are up there belting out 400 year-old lines, calling
people "knaves" and just generally bashing this thing out with pure
style and grace. The play deals humorously with relationships- a
father wants his daughter to marry the guy he favors, but she wants to
be with a "bad boy", there is magic and tricks and every kind of
hilarious mix-up and our Gloucester public school kids just go totally
all-out with it. One kid said to me, "We get it. We totally get it. I
don’t know if our parents will, but we do." Oh those kids with their
hip-hop and their Shakespeare.
Anyway, shows Thursday and Friday at 7pm and the Saturday Matinee at
2. for tix email firstname.lastname@example.org