Chesapeake Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – $15 tickets at Groupon – VERY LIMITED!!!

$15 for One Ticket to Outdoor Theater Performance (Up to $36 Value)

Groupon has limited tickets  for $15, you get one adult admission to an outdoor Shakespeare performance from the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company at the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City (up to a $36 value). Children younger than 18 are admitted for free (limited to two free children per paying adult). This Groupon is valid for any one of the following performances:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Thursday, June 30 at 8 p.m.
The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) on Friday, July 1 at 8 p.m.
The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) on Saturday, July 2 at 8 p.m.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Sunday, July 3 at 6 p.m.

Link for Tickets: http://www.groupon.com/deals/chesapeake-shakespeare-company-1?c=all&p=1

Link for Play: Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

 

The Two Gentlmen of Verona – By Brave Spirits Theatre: “Thy Budget Doth Not Always Need Affect Thy Quality”

Yes' a brief musical interlude

Last night DC’s newest Shakespearean theatrical company, the Brave Spirits Theatre,  opened it’s doors for the very first time. The play was The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The venue was “The Fridge”, which is literally located in a rear alley behind the administration offices for the “Shakespeare Theatre Company”.  This theater appears to be a large converted storeroom with concrete floors, some fixed theater lights, a small stage at one end, and fold out chairs placed in a U shape. But don’t let that fool ya.

I got there about 10 minutes early (DC Traffic Stinks), was kindly greeted at the door, and made my way inside to find a seat. There were about (Guesstimate) 25 people there, mostly in their 20′s and 30′s. And before I knew it the play was starting, out comes Jonathan Lee Taylor and Jeremy Lister in the lead roles of Valentine and Proteus. I’d seen Jonathan in several different Shakespearean plays, and he has yet to disappoint, always bringing versatility and a unique personally to each role. But this was my first time seeing Jeremy, who came across with a cool subtlety, followed by sudden busts of intensity, as the role demanded.

Busted!

A short time later there was Victoria Reinsel and Charlene V. Smith (Lead roles of Julia and Silvia) standing in the center of the floor, wearing modern dress and speaking Shakespeare’s words in a fluid and flowing conversation.They seemed amazingly comfortable with each other and the words they spoke, completely pulling me.

The plot moved fast and the comedy came quickly proving these smaller companies are a perfect showcase for Shakespeare’s humor. In Shakespeare’s time the Clown (Comic actor Richard Tarlton) was an acrobat and vaudevillian, he would jump, roll, dance, ad-lib, cajole and interact with the audience till they were belly laughing. I find sometimes that the larger theater companies feel the need to tone down the antics, yet’ David F. Zimmerman and Ian Blackwell Rogers had no problem following this tradition. They were showing off their comedic verbal wit, and physical acrobatics within minutes of the play starting, at times literally bouncing off the wall with energy.

Now I LOVE big Shakespeare productions, with period costuming, and huge budgets. But Brave Spirit reminded me tonight, with Shakespeare it’s not about the how much money you throw at the production. Shakespeare is about imagination, and passion, and a love for the spoken word. So do yourself a favor and check the Brave Spirits Theatre. This weekend and next week will be your only chance to see them perform The Two Gentleman of Verona. So don’t miss out.

Note: When I originally posted this review I mentioned that Victoria and Charlene were the first to come out and start the play, which they didn’t. I blame this on the fact that they are both so very stunning (Which they are, See their website), and I was completely taken aback in the same manner as so many of the Bard’s romantic leads. For thou shouldst know, in that small Shakespearean world in my mind, such beauty as theirs, will always be the first and last of all my imaginings.

Brave Spirits Theatre presents

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

June 16 – 18, 23 – 25
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm
Saturday matinée at 2pm

Tickets only $10

Link: http://www.bravespiritstheatre.com

Reminder: Two Opening Nights for Tonight and Tomorrow – Don’t forget to support your local groups!

Opening Nights for Tonight and Tomorrow.

TWO GENTLEMAN FROM VERONA performed by Brave Spirits Theatre tomorrow night (June 16th) -  This is the first night of their very first production, so I plan to be there early for a good seat! As I had said in a prior post, even though it’s a new company I’ve seen some of the actors already in several Shakespearean plays, so it will be interesting to see how they perform with this new company.

Link: http://www.bravespiritstheatre.com

TWELFTH NIGHT performed by Empty Chair Theater Company is tonight.(June 15) – They’ve been around since 2007 and have done about 7 plays by Shakespeare. I’ll be there Saturday for the 2pm production for the simple fact that Twelfth Night is one of my favorites.

Link: http://www.emptychairtheatre.org/

See the Calender for more plays and details: http://marylandshakespeare.com/events-calender/

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Open’s Today

June 10th to July 24th the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If you have never seen this play, it is one of Shakespeare’s most amazing and magical plays, and should never be missed. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen it live, and can’t wait to catch it again.

Link For Details: http://www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com

Performances will take place on the weekends at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Thursday performances will begin on June 30 at 8 p.m.

At: Patapsco Female Institute Historical Park, Ellicott City 3691 Sarahs Ln, Ellicott City, MD 21043

The eye of man hath not heard,
the ear of man hath not seen,
man’s hand is not able to taste,
his tongue to conceive,
nor his heart to report,
what my dream was.  -  Bottom

ALERT-FREE: STC Preview this Sunday for “The Merchant of Venice”

Just got this email – The Shakespeare Theatre Company will be performing a  free preview this Sunday of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Sidney Harman Hall. It’s just my luck I’ll be in Staunton at the Blackfriars watching As You Like it, but if I had the time I would most definitely be there.

Here’s a quote from the Email:

Whether contemplating the contents of gilded chests or the darkest corners of humanity, The Merchant of Venice challenges audiences to look beyond misleading appearances to find the true measure of things. This intriguing story of power and revenge, justice and mercy, true love and duplicity features some of Shakespeare’s most complex and memorable characters.

 

The Merchant of Venice is being staged at STC for the first time in more than a decade. Set against the gritty backdrop of 1920s Lower East Side New York City, this classic tale with a modern twist highlights that commerce is king and everything’s a commodity.

Link to: Shakespeare Theatre Company

Catch a preview this Sunday, June 12, at Open Rehearsal.

Seatings: 2 p.m. and 3:50 p.m.

Sidney Harman Hall.

Admission: FREE

First come, first served.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona this Month. Performed by Brave Spirits Theatre: DC’s Newest Shakespeare Company!

This is awesome, there’s a new  theatre company with an obvious passion for Shakespeare in Washington DC called “Brave Spirits Theatre”. They’ll be starting out their first season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona on June 16 – 18, 23 – 25.

There’s a couple of reasons why I am excited to see the Brave Spirits Theatre company (And with any luck, their first show). To start with, the ecstatic energy that comes with the start of any new venture is generally reflected in the performances, which gets poured out into the audience. And the second reason is that, this will not be the first time I’ve had a chance to  see some of the actors in this company. I have had the pleasure to see Jonathan Lee Taylor  in  The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. And just a couple of months ago I was lucky enough to see Ian Blackwell Rogers play Leontes in The Winter’s Tale. I had a chance to see Ian at another Shakespeare function last April in Baltimore where he left an indelible impression on my wife by reciting several Shakespeare sonnets to her. So in the vernacular of my 1970′s/1980′s Southern Maryland upbringing I just want to say to Ian, “Thanks Dude – You Rock”.

Yet’ I digress…

Here’s some more information about “Brave Spirits Theatre” from their website: http://www.bravespiritstheatre.com/about.html

Brave Spirits Theatre, founded in 2011, is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing fresh, energetic productions of the works of William Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights to the Washington, D.C. region. We have a triangular focus: text, actor, and audience.

Text: We are unabashedly obsessed with language. We believe the text itself holds all the clues we need to perform an early modern play with truth and vitality. We examine imagery, verse, rhetorical devices, and embedded stage directions. Shakespeare and his contemporaries wrote beautiful poetry, but they also wrote bawdy, gritty, realistic prose and we embrace both with equal relish. In short, we trust the text and it is the basis of our work.

Actor: We are a company that believes the actor is at the center of the artistic process. We seek out artists who are willing to take creative risks, who are bold and courageous, who are ensemble-driven, and who are professionally-minded in their commitment to the art. The actor is the vessel through which the text comes to life, and as such the actor must be willing to bare his or her soul onstage, and must be intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually adept.

Audience: We feel that the audience is the final ingredient needed to bring the play to life. In keeping with the early modern aesthetic, there is no fourth wall, and we engage the audience as a fellow actor, an active participant in the world of the play. Actors may turn the audience into a raucous mob, their confidants, or the butt of a joke. By playing with the audience rather than to them, we make these plays exciting, accessible, and relevant.

For more information, you can check them out at there website by going here: http://www.bravespiritstheatre.com/

Brave Spirits Theatre will be performing

The Two Gentleman of Verona

June 16 – 18, 23 – 25 The
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm
Saturday matinee at 2pm

tickets only $10

Now on sale at Brownpapertickets.com

performing at:

The Fridge DC
REAR ALLEY
516 8th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

MEETUP.COM: Read Shakespeare aloud! This Weekend at the National Mall in Washington DC

This is another DC-area Shakespeare explorer Meetup.com event for local Shakespeare enthusiasts. Come on, you know you want to practice your chops by reading some Shakespeare out loud. And if you don’t feel like reading, come out for the discussion, or simply for the pleasure of being in the company of others who feel the same way about the Bard as you do.

The focus this Sunday will be on plays that will be performed in the area this year:

  • As You Like it (Act 2, Scene 7)
  • Julius Caesar (Act 1)
  • A Midsummers Night Dream (Act 2, Scene 3, Act 3, Scene 1)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (still thinking, any suggestions?)
  • Othello (4.2 and 4.3)

Click here for details: DC-area-Shakespeare-explorers

Happens this Sunday, June 5, 2011 at 5:30 PM

The National Mall
near 7th and Madison Washington, DC

Bring a chair or Blanket

Shakespear​e in Arlington!: Twelfth Night and Titus Andronicus

Shakespear​e in Arlington!: Twelfth Night and Titus Andronicus

Hey’ Someones been holding out and not telling me about the ” Empty Chair Theatre Company” based in Arlington Virginia! They’ve been around for about 4 years, doing 7 Shakespeare plays in that time. Turns out this month they’re doing Twelfth Night, and next month Titus Andronicus, including one night at the Folgers in DC!

Here’s a little more about the “Empty Chair Theatre Company” from their website

“The company was formed with the goal to give young artists a creative outlet and the chance to explore deeply layered texts while working with their peers to create innovative theatre. Empty Chair performed a Shakespeare Showcase in June of 2007,  Taming of the Shrew in January of 2008, and Richard III in July 2008. The 2009 season was one cast performing Measure for Measure and King Lear in rep. In 2010, Empty Chair put on Much Ado About Nothing, Miscalled Simplicity (a benefit showcase), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard II. Empty Chair became incorporated through the state of Virginia in the Spring of 2008, and has 501(c)3 non-profit status from the IRS.”

Visit them at : http://www.emptychairtheatre.org/

TWELFTH NIGHT
Directed by Miranda Steege
June 15-19th 2011

TITUS ANDRONICUS
Directed by Julia Sears
July 14th, 15th, 21th-23th, 28th-30th

For Something Special:

Add July 16 to your calendar – That’s the day they will be performing Titus Andronicus at the Folger Shakespeare library stage. This will be a benefit performance to help raise money for the Empty Chair Theatre Company, to help them with their community and educational outreach programs…

Where: Folger Theater 201  East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
Get Directions

When: July 16th 8:00pm performance with a reception to follow
Buy Tickets

FREE May 21st: Orson Welles in The Chimes at Midnight on the (semi-)Big Screen!

Orson Welles at the Maryland Shakespeare miniplex

So’ it’s been decided that the First Shakespearean movie for the “First NeverAnnual Maryland Shakespeare Movie Night” is… Falstaff – The Chimes at Midnight! One that I own, but have chosen not to watch, until I could do so with others who might appreciate  this Bardic experience. I’m actually quite excited to see The Chimes at Midnight, a movie which is often considered Orson Welles finest, as Roger Ebert stated in his review:

” This is a magnificent film, clearly among Welles’ greatest work, joining “Citizen Kane,” “The Magnificent Ambersons,” “Touch of Evil” and (I would argue) “The Trial.” It is also magnificent Shakespeare, focusing on Falstaff through the two “Henry IV” plays to his offstage death in “Henry V.” Although the plays are much abridged, it is said there is not a word in the film not written by Shakespeare.”

Link: Review of Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Directed and staring Orson Wells as Falstaff, and Sir John Gielgud as Henry IV, this movie spans the scope of several Shakespearean histories, mostly focusing on Henry IV parts I and II, but also grabs parts from Richard II, Henry V and The Merry Wives Of Windsor.

The Chimes at Midnight  is considered a rage gem, and a lost classic due to the fact that it has not been in any kind of wide release relating to various copyright and legal issues. Which is why I, among so many others, have never seen, nor heard about this movie.. But thanks to the internet making the world all that much smaller, it is no longer impossible to find it anymore. All you have to do is bounce over to Amazon UK and grab a copy for example.

So if you’re interested in seeing Orson Welles as Falstaff in “The Chimes at Midnight, just follow the links to the  DC-area Shakespeare explorers  at Meetup.com for details.

Links:  DC-area Shakespeare explorers for more details

IMDB: The Chimes at Midnight

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimes_at_midnight

Remember, don’t take live Shakespeare in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland for Granted

May 21:The First NeverAnnual Maryland Shakespeare Movie Night (On a 10 foot Diagonal HD Screen)

The First Neverannual Maryland Shakespeare Movie Night

The First Neverannual Maryland Shakespeare Movie Night

The Month of May has been pretty much Lemons, considering the fact that there is not a single live Shakespearean play in the DC area, (Compared to the last couple of years). So’ What do you do when life throws you Lemons? You add some sugar, a 10foot Diagonal HD screen, some Shakespeare, water, friends and a DVD, and make Lemon-Aid. In other words:

The First Neverannual Maryland Shakespeare Movie Night.

Shakespeare Festivals and Companies are taking a beating in this economy, so I’m hoping to drum up some enthusiasm and have some fun in the process! This is still in the concept phase, no plays have been decided yet, and space is VERY limited. But if this sounds fun to you, We have just started a discussion at the DC-area Shakespeare explorers. Bounce other there and give us your thoughts!

link to: DC area Shakespeare explorers

Don’t take Shakespeare in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC area for granted!

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