Shakespeare in the Park

Following the process of putting together an outdoor Shakespeare experience!

   Jul 10

A Rainy End to a Tragic Show (Fitting, eh?)

The Katie is back for her annual post-show wrap-up. You may know me this year as Eleanora, Queen of Verona and resident head-cutter-offer. Or perhaps Rinalda, the buttock-wielding stewardess; Anne Page, the charming bride; or even Biondella, the wearer of rainbow socks. (Need I say more?)

On the morning of July 8th, our director said–out loud, no less–and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wowee! This is the first time in Shakespeare in the Park’s history that we have never ever ever been rained out!” But little did she know, we still had one show left that afternoon…and by one show I mean 1/4 of a show, because it started pouring about four scenes in. Of course, it ended up being a beautiful day like 20 minutes after we started packing up, but it was okay. We still had a pretty wicked awesome show.

I always assumed doing this show would be a horrible idea because that’s what Nikki said, and I listen to her. But it ended up being absolutely magnificently amazing. We had a very varied (teehee) audition turnout, and on the evening of the readthrough, I saw Shakespeare in the Park veterans, newbies, friends from high school, and even the mother of a former cast member! And, as the story goes, that room full of many strangers became a room full of ridiculously loquacious family now that the show’s over. We really have been through everything together. After all, six people die in this show. That was rough.

Speaking of death, SWORDFIGHTING IS SO COOL. I did not know how cool swordfighting was until I saw people actually fight with swords, and then I was like, “WHOA.” It made me wish I wasn’t so intent on keeping peace, because swordfighting is really, really cool. (I think I’ve made my point.) Also on my list of cool things: having a box-shaped set. It was awesome because we could all sit and chill in the open outside air just behind the set. More importantly, we could hear our cues and not have to worry about missing entrances. Seriously, I don’t think anyone actually missed an entrance during this show. Huzzah! Cool thing #3: finishing a scorching hot matinee by stripping down to our Shakespearean undergarments and jumping in the lake!! Oh, what a beautiful, wonderful feeling. After spending nearly three hours covered in eight billion layers of skirt, that lake felt better than…bacon. (I’m dead serious.)

And now we eagerly look forward to A Winter’s Tale next year, which apparently takes place in summer, which lead me to the conclusion that Shakespeare is really really dumb. But there are fur pants in that show, but only the guys get to wear them. Lame, I know. But in all honesty, Romeo and Juliet was such an incredible experience. I made so many new friends–thank you, new friends, for allowing me to make you!–and it was such an exciting opportunity to do such a classic show. (Who knew R+J was so funny? BUTT SHAFT!) I can’t wait for next year. Thank you to Nikki for being awesome, and for everyone else who was awesome around the same time as this show. It was the best. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it.

Eleanora out.

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