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What You Will

The Shakespeare Ensemble is trying something different. Today I saw the dress rehearsal for What You Will, a “virtual site-specific adventure across the globe”, which is playing live three times this Saturday, August 8th, and will soon be made available for archival streaming as well. I am doing administration & behind-the-scenes work on this production, but today was the first time I got to see anything from the artistic side of the project.

It’s my view that under lockdown restrictions theatre has not been happening & in fact cannot happen. As much fun as it may be, and as much as it has provided a sorely needed arena for theatre practitioners to exercise their creative skills, “Zoom theatre” is not theatre.

What You Will isn’t theatre either. But it approaches the question of what theatre workers can do with their skills under lockdown conditions from a different angle. Rather than trying to capture the sense of ensemble by communicating through video & audio – a task which it turns out is incredibly difficult for biological and psychological reasons – this project

What You Will published on Thu, Aug 6, 2020 in:
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      No noyse, but silence — A Benefit Performance of Titus Andronicus

      Titus Andronicus

      This Thursday night, April 9th, starting at 8pm Eastern time, I will be performing William Shakespeare’s The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. In my living room.

      All of the parts will be played by me. I will perform with all the skill & energy available to me. I will most likely be wearing pants. (Who’s to know?)

      This is one night only. There will be no broadcast. There will be no recording for posterity. This is a theatre performance, and like all theatre, it is ephemeral. It happens only once in the very specific way that it will happen. And then it is gone.

      This is a benefit performance, to benefit three very worthy NH-based theatres during these troubled times (see below)!

      All NONE are welcome to attend, because I am practicing physical distancing & self-quarantine… BUT…

      Here are some suggestions as to how to experience this performance:

      • sit quietly wherever you are & think about the fact that this performance is taking place
      • listen very carefully; I know how to project – perhaps you’ll hear me?
      • read along in your favourite copy of Titus Andronicus
      • do something unrelated to this performance… and buy a ticket nonetheless

      Refreshments will be served if you choose to serve yourself some refreshments. I encourage it! Pour yourself a drink, have a snack, sit back & relax. Or if your timezone allows, perhaps it will be a dinner theatre! If your timezone allows in the other direction, perhaps it will be a tea theatre! The possibilities are endless.


      In lieu of purchasing a ticket, please donate to one (or more!) of these fine New Hampshire-based theatres, all of which are worthy of your support & generosity during these difficult times:

      Note that all tickets are for obstructed view seats. Also obstructed hearing. But the seats are of surpassing comfort, as you get to choose to sit in whatever seat you have available to sit in! And what could be more comfortable than the seat of your own, which you chose yourself?

      Please do consider donating – we will need these theatres in the future, and we can help them to be there when we do!

      What next?

      If this performance is well received, this will become a series! I will perform the works of William Shakespeare, and perhaps other plays, on a roughly weekly basis, as long as it seems wise to continue to do so!


      I’m a theatre artist. I am most comfortable performing live, in the room, where the vibrations from my voice & breathing & movement move through the air & hit your ears & eyeballs.

      We can no longer gather in rooms together – for a time.

      But I have a room. And you are somewhere in this world. And vibrations travel through it. And I will do my thing in my room, and you will do your thing in yours. Will the vibrations travel? I don’t know. Will it be theatre? I don’t know.

      In any case, my intent is to give it my all on the night.

      Because that’s what I like to do!

      Also I hope that you’ll donate to the theatres listed above!

      Interested in something else?

      If you’re thirsty for more quarantine-time performances, please do check out Shakespeare Happy Hours, co-produced by my friends at Seven Stages Shakespeare and Rude Grooms.

      ShakesBEERience Encore

      Nearly seven years ago, Seven Stages Shakespeare Company started a series of Shakespeare-in-a-pub readings with Beer in One Hand, Script in the Other. I jumped in on the third reading – it was King Lear – and I’ve been eagerly participating ever since.

      To celebrate the completion of their run through the canon in these seven seasons, 7 Stages has arranged a ShakesBEERience Encore: one play from each season, chosen by their audience!

      This Sunday, June 9, from 10am till 7pm an ensemble of 23 ShakesBEERience veterans will perform all 7 chosen plays, one after the other!

      I just printed my script:

      the printed script for ShakesBEERience Encore
      It is heavy.

      That’s 159 pages of double-column Shakespeare.

      I shan’t tell you which roles I’m playing (come and see!), but every actor is in every play (from lead roles to spear carriers).

      The venue is the idyllic, heroic beer garden at the Throwback Brewery.

      Tickets are going fast! I hope you’ll come & see what is surely going to be an epic undertaking.

      All the details: ShakesBEERience Encore

      ShakesBEERience Encore published on Wed, Jun 5, 2019 in:
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 Free Access

          Hello friends! Just want to be sure you’re aware that Ben & David Crystal’s is giving unlimited-access-to-all for 24 hours tomorrow (April 23rd) to celebrate Mr S’s birthday and also the 1 year anniversary of the site’s launch. If you aren’t a member of the site yet this is a great chance to check out all the features, from the basic (& yet amazing!) ability to look up a word in the glossary & the canon:

          looking up the word bodkin
          Word-lookup in action.

          all the way to the epically cool: character relationship diagrams for every play

          Thomas Cranmer on the Circles diagrom for Henry VIII
          I'm reading Cranmer. Where do I fit in all this? And who the heck is Doctor Butts?

          or the ability to pull your role (roll) out of the script by clicking on your character’s name!!

          the sides for Cranmer
          All I care about are my lines...

          They’ve also added a new Thesaurus where you can look up any word & see what words Shakespeare used in his plays to mean the same thing!

          There’s tons of other cool features on the site: each character by number of lines, lengths of acts & scenes, ability to download the Folio transcriptions as .DOC files, etc etc etc!

          Check it out:

 Free Access published on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 in: . Tags:

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