Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Theatre, the present and the future

“Yes. Less is more. Give one idea a beginning, middle, and end. Make the intimacy between the audience and the performers be a success-not an apology for the fact that the play’s not being done on a bigger scale. You figure out how to make great work in empty spaces on no money. ” -Sam Gold, American Theatre

This quote sums up what’s been going on for me here at Orlando Shakes recently. I just spent a thrilling and satisfying week participating in Playfest! The Harriet Lake Festival of New Plays. Wow! With seven readings alotted three rehearsals, four hours each, some amazing work was put in a relatively short amount of time, with no sets, minimal props and costumes, and a whole lot of heart.

FeverishI read for Chorus 2 in “Feverish”, a retelling of the Phaedra/Hippolytus story by Steve Yockey. Applying the ancient myth’s central themes and questions, by applying them to issues in our current society, homosexuality, greed, vanity (universal, ancient themes in themselves), Yockey has created a wonderful, visceral theatrical experience. I met a number of new playwrights and actors from all over America, united and working together for the purpose of bringing new theatre to today’s audience. The reading went over fantastically and the audience seemed to really like it.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Zombie Town” by Tim Bauer, which seemed to me like a cross between “The Laramie Project” and “Waiting for Guffman”….with zombies. It was HILARIOUS, and kudos to my fellow interns, Megan Pickrell and Michael Schenefelt, for some great work. I can definitely see this play having some sort of cult following in the future, like “Rocky Horror” or “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”.

OdysseyI also really enjoyed Charlie Bethel’s one-man version of “The Odyssey”. I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen a one-man show before and I was thoroughly invested, and entertained by this highly emotional, gripping story.

“Miss Nelson is Missing” is also halfway through it’s run, with many performances left, so come see it! The two week whirlwind rehearsal process, and the chance to perform with the rest of my intern group, has really been a bonding and telling experience. It takes energy to go out there and perform two shows a days for three hundred children six days a week! I love it! The way the kids respond is just fantastic. I can’t get over the fact that I might be shaping someone’s future in theatrical terms with the work I’m doing. So fulfilling, so satisfying. I’m looking forward to so many things, the Classic Repertory, “A Tuna Christmas“(I’m an understudy/dresser), and the Holidays!

There’s always something going on here at Orlando Shakes!

Ryan

Oh, I’m on a billboard

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