Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Give Shakespeare New 'Pep' At Globe

Cleveland Press - Friday, March 27
Globe Players May Visit Expo

Negotiations were under way to bring the Globe Theatre Players and their repertoire of Shakespearean plays to Cleveland this summer as one of the features of the Great Lakes Exposition. The players’ group was organized during the Century of Progress in Chicago (1934) and since has given more that 2500 performances before 1.5M spectators.
The Old Globe Theatre at the Great Lakes Exposition presented five plays on weekdays and seven on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (check out the times on the sign post there.) They strove for accuracy in presentation, though the balcony was a facade and there were seats for the groundlings. And electricity.
The Plain Dealer - Sunday, June 28
by W. Ward Marsh
“Actors in Theater of 1599 Play Bard’s Work in New Tempo”

Before each performance there is English folk dancing on the “green,” in this case a great concrete square. Music was furnished by recorder, and Elizabethan flute, and the dancing was gracefully and trippingly done by youthful students from the Fairhope Organic School of Fairhope, Ala. So strenuous are the dances that it may easily be understood why this form of rhtyhmic exercise was left to the young people.

The interior of the theater is somberly finished and plainly furnished with good, serviceable and hard benches.

The lighting, the English style of architecture on either side of the auditorium and prominent on the side walls diectly in front of the simultaed balconies, and even the structure overhead, shutting out the sky and weather with equal thoroughness, suggest to the eye a serious and honest attempt to re-create Will’s old Globe, but the smell is of new pine and fresh stain and the concrete floor is harder than Adriana’s heart and thicker than Audrey’s head.

I feel the speed of the day as well as the swift flicker of the movie have left a kind of imprint upon these lively and interesting tabloid versions of Shakespeare, all of which retain the meat of the the original if at times omitting the dessert of well turned phrases and longer disseratations.

His plays moved with a speed which would astound the so-called “old Shakespearean actors.” Gone are pomp and awe and reverence. The bard is presented as he intended his plays to be given - for entertainment only.

The “original Chicago cast” has been split three ways, with Cleveland getting its share along with Dallas and San Diego, where, I am led to believe, are other expositions. The remaining members of the cast here were recrutied and trained by Director Wood and then play in starless casts; that is, no player is featured and one in a leading role this afternoon may be a curtain puller or the town crier at night.

A visit to the Globe is not only a pleasant experience but a worthwhile adventure on your exposition tour.

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