Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shakespeare Showcase

Something our family absolutely loves is theatre. This coming weekend, four of the younger kids will be in a play, and this past weekend Josiah, Zachariah and myself (Londa) were in a 'Shakespeare Showcase'.

We had been in a 'Way Clear Shakespeare' class taught by James Shafer, a graduate student who is getting his masters in teaching Shakespearian theatre. He is an amazing drama teacher, and we all learned a lot. The evening was a display of what we had learned in the class, as well as an 'advertisement' for the Shakespeare play we hope to do later in the Spring.

To start the evening off, each of the students recited a sonnet or monologue in costume of their choice.

Bailey Draper performed a monologue by Ophelia from Hamlet. She had an awesome costume, and did an amazing job acting the part of a crazy person. 
Josiah performed a sonnet that spoke of sleep. So he had the creative idea of using a pillow and blanket as his props. 

Londa performed Sonnet 106. Look it up. It's a great sonnet. 

Sharon Rohmann performed a monologue by Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. She did a great job and as her prop she had a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio, who, ironically, played Romeo in a film version of the Shakespeare play. 

Tess Mendoza performed a monologue by Miranda from The Tempest. Tess is awesome to work with -- not only a natural on stage, but has tons of experience with drama. Her monologue was full of expression, and she has great diction and projection on stage.

The next part of the showcase was more monologues and sonnets with the class members dressed in black.
Tess performed a sonnet about Time. Very well done indeed. 
Sharon performed a sonnet as well. It was beautifully recited. 
Zachariah did a fabulous job with his sonnet -- the funny things he did with his eyebrows kept the audience entertained. 
Londa performed a monologue by Lady Anne from Richard III. James said her performance would freak people out with her creepy awesomeness. 
Bailey performed a sonnet. She not only had a beautiful sonnet, she performed it extremely well. I loved her use of props and her expression.
Josiah performed a monologue by Edmund from King Lear. It was powerfully delivered and gave me chills. He did an amazing job with his facial expressions and with his emotions coming through his voice. 
And the last part of the show was the class (including James) performing an act from Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. Zachariah and Josiah really stole the show and had the audience almost rolling on the floor. The gist of the story is this: Two sets of boy twins are separated at birth and have never met. Each of the Dromio twins is a servant to the Antiphilus twins. One Antiphilus is married, but the other is not. By chance, the one Antiphilus comes with his Dromio to the town where the other Antiphilus and Dromio live. They end up at the other's house with Adriana, the wife, assuming it is her husband. This Antiphilus however, does not like her a bit but falls in love with her sister. Thus we had the hilarious creepy wooing scene of the Antiphilus in love with Luciana, the sister of the woman she assumes to be this Antiphilus's wife. 
The first bit of the act is Antiphilus attempting to get into his own house which has now been taken over by his long-lost twin.
Tess played Dromio of Ephesus and Zachariah played Dromio of Syracuse. Josiah played the part of both Antiphilus's. While Antiphilus and Dromio of Ephesus are trying to get in their house, Dromio of Syracuse, supposed by Antiphilus of Ephesus's wife to be Dromio of Ephesus stands as porter at the gate. 

Luce, one of the maidservants of the house comes out and wonders what all the noise is.   

James, our director, played the part of Luce and had the audience, as well as the cast members, almost dying with laughter.

Adriana, Antiphilus of Ephesus's wife, played by Bailey, comes out and is thoroughly indignant when she hears Antiphilus calling her 'wife'.

Antiphilus of Ephesus, completely frustrated, is unsure what to do, and his servant Dromio is dismayed. Angelo, played by Londa, and Balthasar, played by Sharon, friends of Antiphilus, look on in somewhat uncomfortable silence. They decide to go somewhere else for dinner and work out this misunderstanding later

Meanwhile... Antiphilus of Syracuse, supposed by the people of the house to be Antiphilus of Ephesus, and husband to Adriana, quite dislikes Adriana, but is quite taken by her sister, Luciana. She, frustrated that he seems not to love her sister, is lecturing him on that, telling him that if he likes someone else, at least do it stealthily! 

He hangs on every word that she says, while she, seemingly oblivious, focuses on her fingernails and continues to lecture.

She continues to ignore him even when he tries to hang on more than just her words.
As soon as Luciana finishes her lecture, he begins on a long speech displaying his ardent love and admiration for her. 
"Oh sweet mistress, what thy name is else I know not!"

It seems he cannot control himself he is so in love with this 'sweet mermaid'. 

Luciana is rather creeped out by this whole affair, and is on the whole unsure of what to make of it.

He seeks to woo her, and she, though not altogether disliking the attention, is shocked and screams that she must 'fetch her sister and get her goodwill'.

 So Luciana leaves, and in runs Dromio of Syracuse. He is running from Nell, one of the kitchen wenches, who is all grease, he says, and who lays claim to him.

 Dromio tells Antiphilus that this Nell is 'spherical, like a globe', and that he 'could find out countries in her'. They then go on to have a long conversation about where countries were on her body. After they have had their fun, they decide it's time to hit the road and leave town. Antiphilius says, "If everyone knows us and we know none, then tis time I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone."

But when he tries to leave, Angelo, the goldsmith catches up to him and gives him the chain that the other Antiphilus had asked for. This Antiphilus is thoroughly confused by this, but says, "No man is so vain he would refuse so fair an offered chain," and accepts the gift. 

And that is the end of Act III from the Comedy of Errors. We all took a bow or two or three, and that was the finish to the evening. 

Londa and James, our director. 

Londa and Josiah.

Londa and Miss Dar!!!! Our awesome Bee Creative director, and one of our very favorite people in the whole world.

Zachariah and Londa.

All in all, it was a fabulous evening, enjoyed by the audience, and perhaps enjoyed even more by the cast members. We plan on performing an entire Shakespeare play later in the Spring -- be sure to be there!