IB Theater Journal #3
November 1, 2013
Above are images from the incredibly talented group "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" (Left to right:Reed Marin, Austin Tichenor, and Adam Long)
Three guys, one dead playwright, and thirty-seven plays, all in under two hours. In this theatrical performance, Adam Long, Reed Marin, and Austin Tichenor make up the histerical group of Shakespeare enthusiasts (or so they claim to be). These talented actors manage to convey the complete works of William Shakespeare into about an hour and 40 minutes of high-speed over-the-top hilarity. They show the live audience that Shakespeare can be fun and entertaining. The surprising thing is, I actually learned a lot of new things from them about Shakespeare! Even my dad, who does not care for Shakespeare, watched this video. He found it historical! This proves that anyone, no matter their views of Shakespeare, can watch and learn something from this entertaining performance.
This kind of theater reminds me a lot of my favorite television show "Whose Line is it Anyway". They are both fast-paced, live audience improv. The first half of the play consists of 36 of William Shakespeare's plays and it runs fast at 2 minutes a play. Then, the second half is devoted to Shakespeare's tradgedy of "Hamlet". Through the different stories the actors involve the audience in ways that give a new perspective to the concept of audience participation.
The stage is a black box with a back drop with two enterances and exits on each side. This allows for copious quick changes that allow the play to move swiftly and smoothly which is important for a show with such an agenda! The lighting in this play is mainly kept at a constant brightness that allows everything on the stage to be seen. There are minimal changes that occur with lighting to break up the plays. The sound is also minimal other than sound effects to assist the actors. I think that this group had great stage presence and really interacted well with the audience. The best part of the whole play was probably
Adam Long has to be my favorite actor out of the three. He's very entertaining in all of his roles (especially the women he plays such as Ophelia and Juliet). He is able to remain so true to the stories while putting his own spin on these characters, which can be difficult with these classic characters. The entire show requires all the actors to have physical strength, mental agility, and great timing. I can definitely say that these three rose to the challenge!
I notice a lot of Viewpoints that were used throughout the performance. One viewpoint that was used was spacial relationship. Spacial relationship was used a lot to convey when Shakespearean characters did not like or agree with each other. Another Viewpoint that was present during the performance was gesture. The actors used gesture to show the characters feelings and emotions. A Viewpoint I noticed that did not appear very much was architecture. This may be because the actors and director wanted the performance to feel very minimal and simple.
Overall, this performance is a mix of laughter and learning. I believe that whether your learning Shakespeare or just looking for a comedic show, this play is entertaining for all!