If you go to the Old Zoo this weekend, you can enjoy the pristine site. No Shakespeare, no set, no cupcakes. Come to the Studio, though and you see….piles of platforms and a sea of paperwork. What do you do when you’ve performed for nearly 38,000 people and find your bank account hovering just above zero? You get to work on a new musical. At least we do, we’re Independent Shakespeare Co., baby! Red Barn opens Oct. 26.
*sniff* In three days, it will be like we were never there!
We officially opened Othello this past weekend. It’s an adventure working at the Old Zoo grounds in Griffith Park. Several of us swallowed bugs while speaking. Coyotes howled at inappropriate and appropriate times (we might set up a rehearsal with them so that they get their cues right next week). Just before showtime on Saturday it began to rain. An actor split his pants; another actor slipped and fell on the rainy stage….It was marvelous!
That’s what I find so magical about working with ISC: it’s sincere. It’s theater. That’s what it is. And we deal with crap that happens. And it’s magical.
There really was this feeling throughout rehearsals that what we were doing was something special. Not just because we have some really fantastic actors who can adlib missed lines in iambic pentameter, but also because everyone, no matter the role, seems so passionate about telling this story…to these wonderfully diverse audiences, some who had never been to the theater before (Cameron -Othello- told the story of an Indian couple in their twenties who came up to him after the show and said this was their first play ever, and they loved it!).
Every night we have a Circle of Love (not what you’re thinking, nasties) before we begin the show. During one, our fabulous Director Melissa reminded us of the company’s Mission to create new audiences, and to share these stories with people who otherwise aren’t going to theater. I know that we were all moved by the thought of being part of a production that really is working to perpetuate the beautiful tradition (and necessity) that is theatre.
As for our Circle of Love, we always choose a phrase from the play to cheer all together. Anyone got a favorite one, from Othello, we can use? Give us some ideas! See you this weekend. Cookies and baked goods are welcomed backstage. :) www.iscla.org
Would have complimented him on it but assumed it was glued on. Loved what David and Melissa did with those subsidiary roles. Loved the whole thing.
We had our first show yesterday! Roughly 400 people turned up to our fundraiser performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The space is beautiful and the acoustics are as good as you could hope for. I think we could play to at least 1,000 a night at full tilt. Most people seemed to love it but there was some grumbling about why we moved etc. Everyone commented on how hard it was to find (and yet, amazingly they all got there). At one point I stood back and looked at all the people sitting in-front of our stage, just as we had planned. It is one thing to imagine how it might work but when you see it actually happen for the first time it is, well… awesome (to use an overworked American expression).
Vive Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival! Now if I can just pull together another $20,000 we can do the proper season.
I grew a very handsome moustache for my role as Launce. Nobody commented on my uncanny resemblance to Clark Gable, perhaps they were just being polite. Not only was this the inaugural perfromance of the Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival more importantly this was the first public outing of my new banjolele (or rather new to me - it is probably about 80 years old!). It played very nicely and the heat and humidity didn’t seem to effect the vellum head at all. Now if I can just get Recs and Parks to put toilet seats on the toilets and DWP to let us plug in to the 400amp power drop, my life will be in total harmony.
Melissa looked totaly hot in her french maid’s outift. How can I get her to wear that at home?
Is there any company so intent on winning your good graces! We think not! Come play with us, on us, through us…yummy Shakepeare performances await you!