Monday, August 9, 2010

How I Will (Not) Be Spending My Summer Vacation

Currently making plans for my follow-up visit to New York. I have tickets for a show Saturday night, intend to revisit the Performing Arts Library on Saturday, and make make plans to attend NY Fringe shows on Sunday before flying out late. One thing I will not be doing, if only because it doesn't mesh with my current agenda, is to catch Julius Caesar, as part of the Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.

This is a pity, because I love outdoor Shakespeare, I love performers who are willing to risk performing Shakespeare absolutely anywhere, I love actors who can execute this tricky piece of work without a mic. And I love women who pop their blouses open in the name of art.

While I have not missed being the producer of a small theater company, I have missed the freedom of producing whatever the hell I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. I had a dream the other night (after reading a review for this production of JC) where I was an artistic director again, and the mission was to produce outdoor Shakespeare. In this dream I was reminded of the 32-minute adaptation of The Comedy of Errors produced at the Expo (which, in waking life, I have an actual script for) and started concentrating on which other dramas I might rip down to under an hour.

Because, you see, I've never really done that. We mounted Bromley's The American Revolution outdoors, but other than that I've never had a successful go with the Bard al fresco. I do think there is something wildly attractive about that kind of urban, guerrilla Shakespeare that involves few props, no costume changes, a tiny cast, no sound system or lights, and a set based on wherever the show takes place - ideally somewhere with lots of walking traffic where unknowing passersby might even walk through your staging area, or even better, stop for a while to watch and listen.

Of course, we not have such thoroughfares in Cleveland. Not really. Not at all.

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