Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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 process having people to interact and play off.  It was a brilliant idea from our fearless leader!

What do you hope audiences take away from the show?
Above all, I hope that audiences laugh.  There is so much humor in what Jess Winfield, Adam Long, and Daniel Singer wrote, and also with the bits of audience interaction and improv that we are able to do.  I also hope that they begin to see the accessibility and fun of Shakespeare.  But really, it's all about getting those chuckles, cackles, and guffaws.

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