Showing posts from February, 2016

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - meet director Joanna Henry

Why did you decide to direct this show?
I wanted to direct The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) because I love Shakespeare.  His plays were written for the people, and The Reduced Shakespeare Company's version brilliantly condenses all 37 of Shakespeare's plays and parodies them.  This is a chance to have lots of fun with Shakespeare.  His works are presented as a cooking show, a football game, a rap, and a fast-forward Hamlet that then gets replayed backwards.  It's irreverent and fun!

What were you trying to accomplish with the telling of this play?
This isn't your normal play with a plot line and character interactions and relationships.  Three actors use their real names and play themselves acting out the characters in Shakespeare's plays.  This is Shakespeare as you never expected to see him.  Long, serious topics are reduced to short, silly comedies.  The comedies are presented in one convoluted reading justified by the idea that they all share…

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - meet cast member Dave Wright

Tell us about your character.
My character is basically me, so I guess I can tell you a little about David Wright, according to Wikepedia.  Wright was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the oldest of four sons of Rhon, a police officer in the Norfolk Police Department, and Elisa Wright.  He was raised in Chesapeake, Virginia.  Wright attended Hickory High School in Chesapeake.  Wright was the 2001 Gatorade Virginia High School Player of the Year.  Wright also earned All-State honors in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and was named Virginia All-State Player of the Year in 2001.  Over his four-year career at Hickory, Wright hit .438 with 13 home runs and 90 RBIs.  Wright planned to attend Georgia Tech and major in engineering.  Wright is of Scots-Irish descent.

What were some of the challenges you faced in working on this show?
A big challenge is trying to make sure you capture the humor of the show while still remaining faithful to the Shakespearean text.  Also, being a man of larger carriage, just making…

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - meet cast member Shawn g. Byers

Tell us about your character.
Essentially, in this show, I play myself.  In the original production, the three playwrights were also the actors in the show.  Our director wanted to stay true to this production, so each of us are playing ourselves onstage.  In that light, I do play the "Shakespeare expert" which is quite a hard thing to live up to.  While I did take Shakespearean courses, I would hardly characterize myself as an expert ... although, as I think audiences may pick up on, perhaps my character isn't as savvy as he likes to think.

What are some of the challenges you faced while working on this show?
The main challenge so far has been the weather.  We had to miss some rehearsals due to the snow storm a few weeks back.  Another challenge was simulating all of the audience interaction moments in a rehearsal setting.  Joanna (the director), however, anticipating this challenge arranged to have people to sit in on our rehearsals.  It's been a wonderfully fun pro…

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - meet cast member Hans Dettmar

Tell us a bit about your character.
I play 20 characters, including myself, so I guess I can talk about the one I know the best (me!) .. I'm 6'1", I'm a Leo..... just kidding.... um, well, I do play Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, so I like puppies and long walks on the beach but definitely NOT by moonlight!

What were some of the challenges you faced in working on this show?
You are running around the entire show from start to finish.  Some of the trickiest moments come at the very end of the show so you can't relax until literally after the final bow.  It makes for an intense experience, buy hey, that's why we do this!

What do you hope audiences take away from this play?
Well, I hope that they don't think our Shakespeare is, to quote the script: "dry, boring [and] vomitless".