By David Kennedy
Photo by Kathleen O'Rourke
So much of what we do in the theater as actors and directors remains invisible to an audience. Yes, come opening night, the finished work is on stage for all to see, but the hours of process that go into the makeup of a given production is something of a mystery to those not steeped in the ins and outs of the theatrical profession. We take what we do for granted, sometimes forgetting that when we manage to get it right the resulting production can come across to everyone else as effortless. And that’s as it should be. Playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and technicians don’t want you to admire their efforts, only their results. Was the story compelling? Did the performances move me? Was I excited? Did I laugh? Did I feel? These are the questions that matter to us when we attend a play, and answers in the affirmative are the hallmarks of a great evening at the theater.
But if you’ve ever been even the tiniest bit curious about just exactly how an actor and a director collaborate, or how they make the choices they do about emphasis, interpretation, emotional intensity, or staging, then wonder no more. Because, for our upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will, we’ll be drawing back the curtain to offer you a truly inspiring look at the work that goes into staging a masterpiece. Mark Lamos, WCP artistic director and director of Twelfth Night, and a handful of professional actors will be conducting a Shakespeare Master Class, to be held at the Playhouse on Monday, October 24 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. This offers a rare chance for you to see a master director at work, interpreting some of the greatest scenes ever written for the stage.
Over the course of an hour and a half, Mark and the actors will explore the breadth and depth of Shakespeare’s particularly charged and intense poetic language and the myriad ways it can be brought to life via the actor’s instrument: voice and body. As part of the class, scripts of the various scenes will be given to members of the audience as they arrive so that each person can follow along. This will be a truly interactive experience, as Mark and the actors not only discuss their process throughout the evening, but also continually field questions from the audience.
So if you’ve ever marveled at a Playhouse production and wondered how it all comes together, or encountered Shakespeare on the page and thought to yourself, “How does one begin to make sense of all this?” then this revealing evening is something you won’t want to miss. Oh, and did I mention that it’s open to any member of the public and it’s free? How can you beat that? So if you want to come, please check out the information online about this event and our other Shakespeare In Our Time events.
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