Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

'JUST FUN'

Interpreting Shakespeare ‘by the seat of their pants’

shakespeare

Centenary College’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse will undertake the formidable task of presenting all of William Shakespeare’s work in a single evening.

The effort is called “The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)” and is a comedic romp through some of the most studied and revered literature in human history.

Director Abigail Dillard said audience members should not expect the usual treatment of the bard. “I promise that this is not a Shakespeare show that you’re going to walk out of and say I have no idea what I just watched,” Dillard said. “And if you are an eminent Shakespearean scholar, you’ll fit in, too, I promise. It’s also for people who would never go to a Shakespeare play.”

So, what exactly is this aggregation of comedy, history, tragedy and all things Shakespeare? The play is the brainchild of Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, and it premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987. After a decade at the Criterion Theatre in London, it earned the title of the city’s second-longest running comedy.

To celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary, Singer and Winfield revised the show to bring it up to date for 21st century audiences. Dillard said the updating will continue with Centenary’s staging. “We’ll have audience volunteers, we’ll have improv, we’ll have dancing, we even have rap,” Dillard promised. “We have football games; everything is in the show, which is kind of crazy, lots of sword fights and crazy props.”

She said audience members will be a part of the evening’s production, too. “You’re going to play. This is not a show where you’ll just sit there and watch. You are a character in this show. I have light cues for you and sound cues for you, and I will give you your blocking when you get here. You’re going to come and play. If you have any love of theater, then I suggest you come because you’re going to be every part you ever wanted to be.”

If participating isn’t your cup of tea, Dillard still suggests you attend for the performances and to enjoy seeing the stuffy Elizabethan canon brought to its knees with laughter. “I have five actors, and they are going to the best of their ability and inability to perform, every work of Shakespeare. Whether it’s accurate or not is up to your interpretation. They’re doing the best that they can by the seat of their pants, which is just fun.” 

‘Snow White’ auditions 

The BPCC Theatre Program and the Cavalier Players announce auditions for “Snow White” at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 5. Show dates for “Snow White” will be 6 p.m. April 10 and 17 and at 2 p.m. April 11, 12, 18 and 19. For more information about auditioning, call 678-6021. 

The Cavalier Players are also presenting “Nicholas Nickleby” next month. Show dates will be at 7:30 p.m. March 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 and at 2 p.m. March 22 and 29. 

‘Boeing Boeing’ 

The River City Repertory Theatre is working through its pre-flight checklist for “Boeing Boeing” the 1960s French comedy by Marc Camoletti and translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans. It tells the story of a self-styled ladies’ man who tries to balance his amorous assignations with three beautiful airline hostesses. Naturally, it can’t turn out well and doesn’t when they all show up at his Paris flat at the same time. “Boeing Boeing” received the Tony Award for best revival in 2008. This production stars Blayne Weaver, Anna Maria Sparke, Cara Johnston and Susan Kirton. It will be directed by Patric McWilliams and will run Feb. 11-15. For reservations and information, call from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 

‘All My Sons’ 

Shreveport Little Theatre is in rehearsal for its staging of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons,” a post-World War II drama. The show will be directed by Richard Folmer and will feature all his sons and his wife as well. Besides Sloan Folmer and Ginger Folmer, the cast includes Shawn Dion, Cara Johnston, Miles Jay Oliver, Debbie Posey, Holly and David McCart, Bo Harris and Matthew Born. While a blue-collar manufacturing family awaits a son missing in the war, feelings grow between the brother and the girlfriend the missing GI left behind.

The show runs Feb. 26 to March 8. Call 424-4439.

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