Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Response: Mad World, Mad Kings

Promethean Theatre Ensemble just hosted its fourth annual Evening of Shakespeare. This year's installment dealt with royalty in Shakespeare's plays and the underbelly of the rulers in Mad World, Mad Kings. Held in a non-theatrical venue, this project looks to explore snipits of Shakespeare in a more accessible way. The audience was able to enjoy brownies, cookies, and gelato at Let Them Eat Chocolate in Andersonville while the players performed scenes and speeches from Henry V, King John, Henry VI, King Lear, and others. Many of these scenes came from plays that people aren't too familiar with: I heard on audience member exclaim afterwards to one of the actors that she had enjoyed one of his scenes so much that she was now had a burning desire to read the play.

Perhaps one of the neater things about this performance was watching people walk by on the street and look in the window of the shop. It's not everyday that you see people performing Shakespeare in public. And even though they probably could not hear what the actors were saying from out side, giving theatre and performance that kind of public exposure is priceless. It's a in-your-face reminder of vibrant performances while still being non-threatening; if you don't want to go, you don't have to attend, but you are still reminded of it in a real and living way. Props to Promethean Theatre for continuing this project of bringing Shakespeare and theatre into parts of town where you wouldn't normally find them.

Happy Birthday: Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), Stella Adler (1901-1992), & Lon Chaney Jr. (1906-1973)

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