Patrick and I first met in 2005 acting in back to back productions in Delaware and in Harrisburg, PA. We continued to act in the occasional show together, but by 2008, we knew it was time to begin a new venture. One of the things I found most frustrating about being an actor was being subject to someone else's ideas. (I have had the most interesting time reading about this dilemma in Simon Callow's book Being an Actor.) I fully appreciate a director's vision of a production, but no one was quite producing Shakespeare the way I wanted to perform it. So Patrick and I began our Shakespeare IN THE RAW experiment.
No more props. We used dowels -- you know those thick wooden sticks you buy at the hardware store. Those were our swords. We've progressed to daggers -- blocks of wood you'd use to stop a door, wrapped in duct tape. No more costumes. We used basic blacks as a base costume and augmented with jackets, sashes, hats, skirts, etc. No more rehearsal time. We've whittled it down to approximately 12 hours per production. Yes, that is correct. We don't have anyone holding book during the show. No one carries a script. These are all-out, uncut, full-on productions of Shakespeare by some of the finest classical actors I have ever met or seen perform. The focus is almost entirely on the text and on the verse and musicality therein. And these productions are exciting! This is the way I love to perform Shakespeare and to see Shakespeare performed.
To date, Shakespeare IN THE RAW has encompassed ten productions:
1 Henry VI
2 Henry VI
3 Henry VI
As You Like It
Romeo and Juliet
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
And in just a few weeks we will open the rest of our second annual summer festival:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
and our very first children's show: Theseus and the Minotaur
I'm not sure when Patrick and I will get to be together on stage again, but here's a walk down memory lane of some shows we have done together over the last six years.
|as Celia and Oliver in As You Like It, 2010|
|My back as Nurse and Patrick as Friar Lawrence|
beating up on Aaron White as Romeo.
|Fuzzy pic from Richard III|
|3 Henry VI rehearsal|
|The rabble about to take down Lord Say in 2 Henry VI|
|Patrick accompanies my beat-down of Lord Talbot|
(The shot is a little stretched and grainy - sorry!)