Hello, readers! Isn’t it hard to believe we’re already into the second week of July? I feel like it was just last week that our company met for the first time to read through Crazy for You. I hate to be cliché and say that time flies when you’re having fun, but, well…there you go. It does. Not only do I feel like time flies in the midst of all the working and playing we do at Festival, but I also forget what day of the week it is. But we have a company dinner every Sunday evening, and I am more able to mark the passage of time when I’m provided with food.
Although two of our four summer shows have opened (Crazy for You and The Foreigner), we’re still as busy as ever with rehearsing, performing, teaching at creativity camps, writing music, and now focusing on our work in the conservatory with local youth actors. Most of the summer artists are involved in the conservatory production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in some capacity. I am not acting in this production, for example, but I am still a teaching artist with the show. Our schedule is divided up into a morning session from 10-noon and an afternoon session from 1-6. In the morning, the teaching artists lead exercises and activities to prepare the youth actors (and—let’s be honest—ourselves) to meet the demands of the text and tell our story with voice and movement. Then the director joins us for an afternoon of rehearsing. So far, we’ve been doing this four days a week. I have only started becoming comfortable performing Shakespeare’s texts in the past couple years, and I know I would have really struggled with it if I had been in a play like this one when I was at the age of the youth actors. But they are blowing my hypothetical adolescent self out of the water. They’re a troupe of pros and arrive every day ready to learn and eager to share their experiences. It’s a lot of fun to spend a morning making funny noises and capering around the room. What a job I have. I hope they’re learning as much as I am.
For anyone reading this who isn’t sure you’d enjoy or understand seeing a Shakespeare play, I encourage you to give this production a try. Midsummer is a very popular romantic comedy, and the director and cast are more than capable of meeting the challenge of communicating the story to you. It’s not a foreign language; I promise you’ll catch on. Also, the show doesn’t have its first official public performance until July 20th, so you have some time to read a synopsis of the play online to make it easier to follow once you get here. We have fairies, lovers, lovers’ quarrels, a talking wall, a talking donkey, dancing, magic, poetry, and a fearsome lion. Who could ask for anything more?