Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recap: The Justice Project

What a weekend! Adirondack Shakespeare Company closed 2012's The Justice Project to immense success. The Moot Courtroom at St. John's University School of Law was jam-packed with audience members to see Measure for Measure on Friday night and even more folks to see The Merchant of Venice on Saturday. I am proud to say that we delivered some really top-notch productions to our audiences this weekend.

One of the strangest things for me is how my mind is always jumping ahead to the future. Even in the midst of our shows this weekend, I couldn't help but picture what other productions would look like in the Moot Courtroom. This is a really beautiful space. It seats a little over 150 people. It is a friendly room, in that the actors don't require amplification. In fact, the only complaint we had was the heat! We had so many people in the seats, and we just couldn't get access to a thermostat. Now we know for next year.

Part of me struggles with the looking ahead. One of the most important aspects of performance is immediacy and being present in the moment. Without a doubt, when I was onstage, my mind couldn't possibly be wandering. I had to focus on every word coming out of my mouth and out of the mouths of all the other actors. Shakespeare IN THE RAW just feels like life or death. But when I was offstage, out in the hallway, peeking in on the action, I just had visions of the histories unfolding. I couldn't help myself. Patrick admitted to picturing Romeo and Juliet in here too! So it's not just me!

With such a rousing success with The Justice Project, though, we are able to look ahead to future productions in the Moot Courtroom. Many thanks especially to the St. John's University School of Law and the Department of English. We can't wait to back!

Andi Dema, our Shylock. He calls this one: "I am content."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Law and Justice {belated Week 4 response}

With the successful closing of The Justice Project this past weekend, it is time to re-focus my energies on text, on reading and writing. I've been very wrapped up in production, but I hope the productions will sharpen my readings on Merchant and Measure.

The mid-term of the semester is almost here, so I'm hoping this week to have a potential germ for my final paper. Thus far, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the character of Portia, but I'm not sure that I want to continue this train of thought through for the rest of the semester. In performance, I played Portia in Merchant and also doubled as Escalus in Measure. This double was really fascinating, as Escalus acts as judge in the majority of his scenes in the play. Perhaps I'll want to draw out the connection of these two characters?

I am also interested, however, in the second half of this semester's reading as I move into some of the political plays. In "The quality of mercy," Portia talks of the power of kings on earth, and this seems to me a good jumping-off point for reading these early history plays. How do we see "earthly power" played out in the Henriad plays and in Richard III? Portia speaks abstractly of "the mightiest," but in the history plays that's who we spend our time with. What should the "throned Monarch" do with these concepts of law, justice, and equity (or mercy) that we've spent so much time thinking about and staging in The Justice Project?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet Collin!

Last but certainly not least, meet Collin!

Can I tell you how much I adore this guy? We first brought Collin on board for last year's Bookend Project and he returned to work with us again for Summer 2011. I'm so pleased to welcome him back again for The Justice Project!

Collin is a man of many talents. Not only is he an incredibly talented actor, but he is also a musician, a teacher, stage-combat guru, dog-sitter, climber of walls, and an all-around amazing friend. The songs that are featured in Measure and Merchant? Collin wrote those. He also wrote the music for this summer's production of Midsummer. I know you will enjoy his performances in both of these productions, but I must put in a particularly wonderful word for his Abhorson. Bring diapers. You'll laugh so hard you'll ... well, you know.

COLLIN McCONNELL
(MERCHANT: Lorenzo, Magnifico; MEASURE: Lucio, Abhorson)

Collin is thrilled to return to the ADK Shakes family! With ADK Shakes: Titus Andronicus (Lucius); The Tempest (Ferdinand); Midsummer Night's Dream (Demetrius); The Merchant of Venice (Lorenzo). Other select credits include Joan of Arc and Julius Caesar (Gorilla Rep); Macbeth (Redd Tale); Blood Brothers present... Freaks From the Morgue! (Nosedive); The Somnambulist (Dixon Place); The Magic of Mrs. Crowling (Horse Trade / Royal Circus). Collin is also the Educational Associate for Adaptive Arts Theatre Productions, a teaching artist for Town Hall, and tutors speech for non-native english speakers at BMCC. Much love and thanks to Tara, Patrick, and this incredible, fearless family.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meet Lindsay!

I love this lady! Lindsay first worked with us over this past summer. She is simply wonderful to have around. Her energy is sparkling, and she is always looking for additional ways to pitch in and help out. She is also great fun to watch onstage! This weekend Patrick handed out a matrix of Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic and Good-Neutral-Evil. The cast had to sign in to this matrix sheet as their Merchant characters. We had a blast.

Image from Deviantart.net
Lindsay signed Nerissa in as "Chaotic Good" and after the performance that evening an audience member approached her with some comments about the show. She loved Linday's Nerissa, describing her as adorable but more interestingly as "like a little bunny holding a hand grenade." Chaotic Good? Nailed it!

Don't miss Lindsay this weekend as a touching Juliet, a hilarious Elbow, a singing boy, and as a little bunny with hand grenade!

LINDSAY BARTLETTE ALLEN
(MERCHANT: Nerissa, Leonardo; MEASURE: Juliet, Elbow, Boy)

Lindsay is excited to be working with the Adirondack Shakespeare Company after completing the run of the 2011 Summer Season: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania/ Philostrate), The Merchant of Venice (Nerissa/ Salarino), and Theseus & The Minotaur (Ariadne). She holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and was a member of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Apprentice Company in 2009. Favorite roles include Lydia Languish in The Rivals, Celia in As You Like It and Dementia in Scenes from an ExecutionSince living in New York, Lindsay has acted in several shows including Somewhere: An Alternate Ending to The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy) which performed in last year’s Strawberry One-Act Winter Play Festival.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Law and Justice {belated Week 3 Response}

This post is coming to you a few days later than my usual Friday response. I took a break from my regularly scheduled reading because we began rehearsing for The Justice Project just a week ago today. (How is that possible? It feels as though it's been at least a month.) We then opened our first production of Measure for Measure on Friday night and The Merchant of Venice on Saturday. So reading, writing, and scholarship gave way to practice.

We were faced with questions of each character's arc, where to stage Belmont and where to stage Shylock's house, how to navigate placement of chairs, should we use a prop or mime it? With only twelve hours to stage each production, we were out of time to spend with learning lines, with looking up shades of meaning, with notating scripts. It was show time.

During Shakespeare IN THE RAW rehearsals, we strive for 100% accuracy with the text, and that is where the vast majority of our rehearsal time is spent. Speaking the text through, holding if a line is spoken incorrectly, then fixing the error, and speaking it correctly. It can be a frustrating experience for an actor who has learned even a single word wrong or made an inversion early on in their memorization process. There have been tears on more than one occasion. But of course (as we love to quote Hamlet), "The play's the thing" and all of our preparation and rehearsal is in service of the play.

My own preparation is heavily academic. (Shocked, right? I know.) Before I can even do anything as actor, however, Patrick or I spend innumerable hours preparing the script. We do not cut any of the text, but we format it preserving Folio capitalizations, punctuation, and some spelling. We also have very often to make choices between various editions of the text. Do we go with Folio 1 or with Quarto 2? Decisions, decisions! Once the script is finally prepared, I switch over to "actor mode." I scan the verse in my script. I look up meanings galore -- even (or rather especially) of words that I know. What is the real difference between "dread" and "fear"? Imagine my frustration with the Lexicon when it defined each word with the other! I highlight in different colors word repetitions. For The Justice Project, I used orange to highlight all the words associated with the law: justice, mercy, law, bond, slander, sentence, etc. My script has a lot of orange blobs in it now. This work gives me a strong base of support, of comprehension, of through-line when it is time to put the script away and focus on the acting ensemble around me.

I am a big believer in marrying scholarship and practice. I wouldn't be juggling a doctoral degree program with running a theatre company if I weren't. A production will always be stronger when supported by the rigor of academic study and questioning, but at the end of the day, these plays were written for the stage, to have life breathed into the words, to be performed by a talented ensemble of actors. I can't say how proud I am of The Justice Project, which has so beautifully balanced academic scholarship and theatrical practice. These productions are not only smart and clearly delivered, but they are also emotional powerhouses. This weekend, our audience laughed out loud. They wept. They cheered and clapped, because they were moved. Which tells me ... we did our job, and we did it well.

Antonio (Julia Jones) and Portia (Tara Bradway)
Photo by Michael Bernstein.

Meet Michael!

I fell a little behind on these introductions. I like to have them up before the shows open, but as you might imagine -- last week became pretty hectic! We shall now be back on track for our final three introductions before our closing weekend begins.

So without further ado ...

I've been looking forward to working with Michael since our auditions for the 2011 Season. He had a great audition for us last fall. I could have used Michael in a number of roles last season. It's one of the biggest challenges of casting for repertory theatre. I'm not casting just a single play, but rather trying to fit a puzzle together casting two or even three plays. This year we finally had the right combination of roles for Michael. We're so pleased to have him on board as the Duke and in the ensemble of Merchant. It's been a great pleasure getting to know this brainy guy! Don't miss him in this final weekend of performances.

MICHAEL BERNSTEIN
(MERCHANT: Old Gobbo, Servant, Salerio, Gaoler; MEASURE: Duke)


Michael is delighted to work at last with Adirondack Shakespeare. With The Shelter NYC: "Kate" (playwright), F***ing Christmas (actor) and Night Windows (assistant director). Other theater: Grief and Celebration (Ugly Rhino), Two Gentleman of Verona (Extant Arts). Film: You Can't Kill Stephen King, Pro-Black Sheep. TV: Celebrity Ghost Stories, Burger King. Internet: The Onion News Network. Improv & Sketch: Alan Chan Improv, Punching Hal. Also: narrator for the JPS Tanakh (Audible.com). Art Director for Frank The Rat.


For more information, visit www.michaelbernstein.biz.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Justice Project: One more weekend!

What a wonderful opening weekend for The Justice Project! Thank you to all our friends, family, and fantastic audience members who came out to support us in Manhattan.

There are still a few more acting company introductions coming your way this week. Stay tuned! I am so proud that we have gathered such a fantastic group for this project and so humbled to have the opportunity to work with all of you. You have a generosity of spirit that revives my belief in the value of the work we are doing. You have incredible talent and skill for what you do as well as boundless courage to take the leap of faith that is Shakespeare IN THE RAW. Thanks to each and every one of you. You are dazzling.

If you missed our performances in Manhattan, you can still catch both shows this coming weekend at the Queens Campus of St. John's University. Trust me when I say you absolutely do not want to miss these shows, among the finest our company has produced.

Measure for Measure performs on Friday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Merchant of Venice will close the 2012 Justice Project on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. You can purchase advance tickets by clicking here. Don't forget that St. John's students and faculty are admitted free of charge. Performances are held in the Moot Courtroom on the 2nd Floor of Belson Hall at St. John's University, Queens Campus. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Seating is general admission. Early arrivers can even sit in the Jury Box!

This year we have a special event associated with The Justice Project. Sponsored by the Law School and the Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Society, we are hosting an academic roundtable discussion on the nature of law, justice, and equity in Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. We will present selected scenes from the two plays, hold a discussion with eminent scholars and law professionals, and take questions for the acting company. The discussion will begin on Friday, February 17 at 12:00 p.m. and run for approximately 90 minutes. It will be held in the Moot Courtroom in Belson Hall (2nd Floor) at the St. John's University Queens Campus. This event is free and open to the public.

The Acting Company

Lindsay Bartlette Allen
Michael Bernstein
Tara Bradway
Collin McConnell

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Meet Melanie!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be working with this extraordinary lady once again. You may remember Melanie from last year's Bookend Project, in which she appeared as Tamora in Titus Andronicus and Ariel in The Tempest. She is an incredible ball of energy, this one! Her Tamora absolutely crackled, and her Ariel was graceful and endearing. It is such a pleasure to welcome her back for The Justice Project.

In my post introducing Julia, I talked quite a bit about cross-gender casting. Melanie is tackling one of the most fascinating roles in the canon in Measure -- Angelo. I toyed quite a bit with casting Angelo with an actress. A lot of ladies read for it at callbacks for The Justice Project actually. I want to be clear that I am not in any way going for a homosexual undertone with this casting of Angelo. Angelo feels almost asexual to me, at least at the opening of the play. The other characters describe his sterile, icy, severe, stern nature. The Duke describes him:
Lord Angelo is precise,
Stands at a guard with Envy: scarce confesses
That his blood flows: or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone (I.iv)
Lucio calls him:
A man, whose blood
Is very snow-broth: one, who never feels
The wanton stings, and motions of the sense;
But doth rebate, and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind (I.v)
"Snow-broth" -- one of my favorite images in Shakespeare, right there. This man is not one filled with passion. He is overcome by lust, yes, but he seems almost sexless to me in these early descriptions of his character. So casting a male actor in this role was not a high priority.

To let you into the casting puzzle a little bit, I also had to consider how I was casting The Merchant of Venice. It's a balancing act of female and male across two plays. I needed a Jessica, too! And I knew Melanie was just the right person for this job. I cannot wait for you to see her work this weekend. Don't miss it!

Reserve your tickets here.

MELANIE ARII MAH
(MERCHANT: Jessica, Duke, Solanio; MEASURE: Angelo, Mistress Overdone)

Melanie is honored to be a part of ADK Shakes's Justice Project for a second time around and wishes to thank her wonderfully talented and supportive cast and team for making this production possible. She is a San Francisco native and graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre (BFA’10). Some of her favorite roles include Ofelia (Hamlet, First Quarto), Athena (The Eumenides), Gertrude (The Underpants), and R.C. (Bug). Thank you to her family and fabulous friends for their continued love and support. This performance is dedicated to her loving father, Melvin Mah, a great father and a best friend to all. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Meet Christian!

Check this guy out! This is the first year we've gotten to see Christian read, and he kicked some serious you-know-what when he auditioned with Gloster's speech (yes, I like the Folio spelling, ok?) from 3 Henry VI. It was terrifying. In a good way. Some actors are just born to play certain roles. Patrick and I tend to think of these roles as an actor's spirit animal. Well, I have a feeling that Richard is Christian's spirit animal. He just inhabited this role physically, vocally, emotionally ... it was extraordinary. Such a treat for us!

He's also really quite funny. You'll see. Don't miss him in some of the best (if less well known) clown's roles in the canon. And maybe ... bring a change of clothes. Just in case.

I agree, he is a totally rad dude.

CHRISTIAN ADAM JACOBS
(MERCHANT: Morocco, Launcelet Gobbo, Magnifico; MEASURE: Pompey, Friar Peter)


ADK Shakes debut


Christian is very excited to be in his first production with ADK Shakespeare. He was most recently seen as Marcellus and Osric in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's first ever production of Hamlet. Other HVSF credits include Comedy Of Errors (Angelo, Solinus), The Bomb-itty Of Errors (Dromio Of Syracuse), The Taming Of The Shrew (Biondello), Troilus & Cressida (Paris, Calchas), Cymbeline (Guiderius), Macbeth (Witch/Murderer)and Julius Caesar (Cassius). Christian is an MFA graduate of the New School for Drama, where he had the great joy of playing the title role in their production of Richard III. Other NSD credits include On The Verge (The Male Player), The Drowned World (Darren), Hamlet (Claudius), and Stage Door (Keith Burgess). NYC credits: Looking At Christmas (The Flea Theater), FarAway (59E59 St. Theater), Crazy Eights (The Cell Theater), Author's Voice (The Cell Theater). Christian is a totally rad dude.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meet Shayna!

I've fallen a little behind on my introductions this weekend. Oops! I've been battling a horrible cold and terrified that I won't have a voice for the performances or that I'll infect the entire cast on Wednesday night. Today, however, things are looking up! And now, let's get back on track introducing you to rest of the cast. There's still several people I know you're looking forward to meeting.


So without further ado, I'm pleased to introduce you to Shayna! She is brand new to ADK Shakes this year and it is such a pleasure to have her on board for The Justice Project. Shayna is one of those people who just exudes beautiful, positive energy. We met up to run some lines and talk about the rehearsal process and characters the other day. What a lovely chat (and coffee) we had! Shayna is observant and intelligent, open to discussion and willing to take chances. She is going to be an Isabella to reckon with, I can tell.


Do not miss this performance! Catch Isabella on Friday nights this week and next (and the 2nd Gentleman as well). How many Isabellas have you seen doubling in another role? Shayna is all over this. She is also tackling three roles in Merchant. Click here to reserve your tickets now!


SHAYNA VERCILLO
(MERCHANT: Salarino, Stephano, Balthasar; MEASURE: Isabella, 2nd Gentleman)


ADK SHAKES debut


Shayna Vercillo hails from Tucson, AZ, received her BFA in acting from Oklahoma City University and now officially calls New York City home. She is thrilled to be joining the Adirondack Shakespeare Company and getting to work with such a wonderful cast and crew! Favorite roles include Hypatia (Misalliance) with Oklahoma's Shakespeare in the Park, Angelina (The Angelina Project), CB's Sister (Dog Sees God), and Truly Scrumptious (Chitty Chitty…!) with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. She would like to thank her friends and family for all their continued love and support!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Meet Julia!

It is a great pleasure to welcome Julia Jones to our company of talented actors. I was immediately struck by Julia's headshot and resume when she submitted them to us, but they were nothing to Julia's presence when she arrived for her audition. We were absolutely taken by Julia's beautiful voice, graceful reading, and stunning ease with verse-speaking. You will be too, I'm certain.

If you're unfamiliar with ADK Shakes, you may be surprised when the first line of The Merchant of Venice is spoken next Saturday by a lady. That's right, Julia is playing Antonio, the titular character of Merchant. We often use cross-gender casting in our productions. In the past, we've had ladies playing such roles as Titus in Titus Andronicus, Lord Clifford in 3 Henry VI, Touchstone in As You Like It, and we've even had gents featured as the Duchess of York in Richard III and Marjorie Jourdain in 2 Henry VI. In the Justice Project, Melanie Arii Mah is appearing as Angelo, Lindsay Bartlette Allen as Elbow, Lindsay Tanner as Gratiano, Shayna Vercillo is playing several guys whose names end in -O, and I am playing Escalus. Ladies in the house.

Frankly, I love cross-gender casting. It can be an interest comment on a character or their relationship with other characters in the play. Plus, it's an exciting challenge for both the actor and the audience. This is what the theatre is all about, isn't it? We are building an imaginary world together. We are playing roles, not ourselves. It's part of the magic -- pretending we're someone that we're not, pretending we're somewhere that we're not, part of a story that's utterly removed from our regular lives. While we're at it pretending we're someone else, why don't we switch it up as much as we can? And honestly, I've seen women play more convincing men than men. It can be done! Magic!

Come appreciate the magic that Julia will help create next weekend. You can reserve your tickets here, and you can also support Julia by adopting her! A portion of your donation will go directly to her in addition to supporting The Justice Project.


JULIA JONES
(MERCHANT: Antonio, Tubal; MEASURE: Mariana, Friar Thomas, Servant)


ADK SHAKES debut


Julia is a native Texan and NYU graduate. She has worked at the Inwood Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Warehouse, and Shakespeare Santa Monica. Many thanks to Tara and Patrick for this opportunity.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Law and Justice {Week 2 Response)

I'm working through several pieces in The Law and Shakespeare, edited by Constance Jordan and Karen Cunningham. I'm finding the articles a little uneven so far, but I do quite like this one by Thomas C. Bilello on “Law, Equity, and Portia’s Con.” While I don't agree with his arguments, he very clearly explains each step in his argument and I find his explanations of Aristotle very helpful. Also, my citations to The Merchant of Venice are from the Applause First Folio, prepared and annotated by Neil Freeman.

Bilello is interested in the tension between law and equity, a concept which he defines through an Aristotelian lens. I want to spend some time looking at his descriptions of Aristotle since I’m unfamiliar, but before I do, I want to look at Bilello’s argument:

He writes, “I will argue that Portia’s judgment has little to do with justice or equity. Instead, she is motivated more by her desire to protect Antonio, her new husband’s confidant. Indeed, by inserting herself by artifice into the legal proceedings to enforce the bond, Portia converts the law into an instrumentality of her will” (110). I do not agree with this assertion. If Portia was disinterested in justice, she would make such a heated response to Bassanio in the courtroom when he begs her, “Wrest once the Law to your authority. / To do a great right, do a little wrong” (4.1.239-40). If she were truly concerned only with saving Antonio, she could do so here. She could take this opportunity to take up the Duke’s call who threatens on his power “to dismiss this court” (XX). But she does not. She replies (I think with passion), “It must not be, there is no power in Venice / Can alter a decree established: / ‘Twill be recorded for a President, / And many an error by the same example, / Will rush into the state: It cannot be” (4.1.242-5). This, I think, is Portia’s concern. Yes, she hopes to save Antonio, but of equal if not greater importance is upholding the law. Antonio must be saved without damaging that statutes of Venice.


Back to Aristotle. Bilello breaks down Aristotle’s definitions thus. The law is a set of “general rules” which operate mechanically. Their operation is considered “legally just,” but in particular cases the application of justice can become problematic. Equity acts as a balance in such cases by requiring the law to be interpreted “as if the lawgiver ‘were present’ and ‘had known of this particular case’” (110-1). He goes to look at an early modern text published in approx. 1530 called Doctor and Student by Christopher St. German in which St. German considers the concept of equity. He argues that equity is universal and that, in agreement with Aristotle, it must “follow the ‘intent of the lawe,’ rather than the strict ‘wordes of the lawe’” (111).

For me this is the balance happening all over Merchant, most especially through the character of Portia. It is easy to the strict words, but it not always easy interpret the intent of those words. Isn’t this what is happening with the casket test? Portia does not necessarily know what her father’s intention was; she is frustrated by the text of his will. “Is it not hard, Nerissa” she asks (1.2) -- yes, of course it is. We are invited to feel compassion and pity for Portia’s predicament. We don’t understand why any father would constrain his daughter in this kind of test. To my mind, this seems less like a test for Portia’s suitors than a test for Portia herself. The onus of the test does indeed fall to her own interpretation. This is why so much seems to be written on Portia’s “con,” yes? She does end up bending the letter of the will, but she may still uphold its intent. Nerissa tells us the most about the will itself and the lottery of the caskets. She consoles Portia that the correct casket “wil no do bout never be chosen by any right-ly, but one who you shall rightly love” (1.2.223-5). The syntax is slightly ambiguous here, since Shakespeare often exchanges “who” for “whom.” Will the casket be chosen only by one who shall rightly love Portia? Or by one whom Portia shall rightly love?

This is a question I want to pursue throughout the course of the play. What is Portia’s relationship to strict law and to the law’s intent? How does it change? I have a lot of thoughts about this relationship in the courtroom, of course, and in the final scene of the play. In a nutshell I see Portia’s arc through the play as coming to realize the importance of equity, of finding the intent of the law. This is perhaps her dilemma in Acts I and II. She is focused on the strict words of her father’s will. In the scenes with Morocco and Arragon (which bear closer examination), she does not sway their decision. It is during Bassanio’s test that this changes. To the man she actually wants to choose rightly she slips strong hints, but she does not say in uncertain terms “You shall choose lead.” Yes, there’s gray area in regards to the hints she drops, but here Portia learns to value equity over strict legal justice. Is not possible that this is the true test her father sets for her?

This is where I’d like to pick up next week -- posing this question throughout the courtroom scene and then through the final scene in the play. I’m very invested in debunking the cynical view of Portia that I’m finding in most contemporary productions of this play. The interpretation of Portia is one of the hinge-pins of the play, the other being the portrayal of Shylock. It seems like most modern productions will not allow both characters to be sympathetic. If we sympathize with Shylock, we must hate Portia. But I think a fully sympathetic Shylock destroys the narrative that the play intends, precisely because we are not supposed to hate Portia. In terms of mere number of lines, this is Portia’s play -- she speaks close to 600 lines of text, whereas Shylock speaks about 350. He appears in five scenes; she appears in nine. They certainly counter each other, but structurally Portia is our hero and Shylock is our villain. And I really have to stop sidetracking myself ... the question for next week (in addition to my reading becoming more focused on Measure) is to look at Portia’s relationship with law and equity in the courtroom scene and in the final scene.

On an unrelated note, I just found this book on Amazon. Kill All the Lawyers?: Shakespeare's Legal Appeal. How did I miss this? And what else can I order to make it to $25 and free super saver shipping?

Meet L.T.!

Since we have two Lindsays in the company, Lindsay Tanner has graciously agreed to go by "L.T." -- which I have to say is quite charming and a whole lot of fun to hoot. Try it. Go on.

Lindsay is one of those folks who has been on my radar for a while. I remember her headshot vividly from when she submitted last year, and her resume is killer. It was great to have her in the room for this season's auditions. Let me tell you, she does not disappoint. Lindsay's audition was, in a word, incredible. Not only does she speak like a master, she has a physicality that is, at once, impossible to pin down and able to fit anywhere. I felt as though I could cast Lindsay in any role in the canon and she would just shine. Come check her out as the impulsive and implacable Gratiano in Merchant and as the ever-professional Provost in Measure.

In addition to her work onstage, Lindsay is also a co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Accidental Shakespeare Company. OK, friends, this company is cool. You need to check them out. And you have the perfect opportunity this weekend to see their Hit & Run A Midsummer Night's Dream. What is Hit & Run, you ask? This group of actors does not even meet until right before the curtain goes up. You just have to come and check out the accidental moments that this kind of theater fosters. It's a blast. Plus, there's wine.

LINSAY TANNER
(MERCHANT: Gratiano; MEASURE: Provost)


ADK Shakes debut


Lindsay Tanner holds a BFA from NYU/Tisch, where she trained at Stella Adler Studios and RADA. NYC credits include: Mortimer, Edward II (WOW Cafe Theatre); Regine Olsen, When It Stands Still (Toy Box Theatre); 3rd Witch, Macbeth (Frog & Peach); Natasha, Three Sisters (Rebellious Subjects). Regional credits include: Lysistrata, Lysistrata (No. 11 Productions, Saratoga Arts Fest); Hermione, The Winter's Tale and Ophelia, Hamlet (Shakespeare in the Valley, NH). She is Co-Artistic Director of the Accidental Shakespeare Company and sings with the New York City Master Chorale.
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