Flatwater Shakespeare's Blog News

My Photo
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Opening Night (Slightly Delayed)

"Hey, Ho, the Wind and the Rain" . . . Flatwater's Romeo and Juliet waited an extra night before starting its run at the open-air Swan Theatre on the 22nd. Over 100 audience members enjoyed a complex and entertaining realization of Shakespeare's play, as tragedy and comedy fought for dominance as fiercely as the Montagues and Capulets. Members of the ensemble shared the opening Chorus, reminding everyone from the start that this is a tragic tale: we need the reminder, because the play that follows constantly shifts from hilarity to heartbreak. The comic confrontation between servants of the two families leads to a threatened death sentence from the Prince; Romeo and Juliet are giddy about their infatuation and deathly serious about their love; Mercutio cannot keep himself from making jokes about his mortal wound.

This production does justice to both modes -- going from one extreme to the other. The two principal actors lead the way. As Romeo, Colin Creveling conveys a young man's quick wit, deep romanticism, goofiness and devotedness (and self-awareness about his excesses). As Juliet, Mikael Walter communicates a young woman's determination to fulfill both her obligations (to her family, to her new husband) and her deepest desires. She is at first amused and then entranced by Romeo's ardor -- and returns his passion with intense certainty.

The show continues this Sunday, the 24th, and runs for the next two weekends, Thursday through Sunday, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling 484-7640 or by visiting our website, www.flatwatershakespeare.org.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Star-Cross'd Love by Starlight

Romeo and Juliet opens Thursday, September 21, at the Swan Theatre at Wyuka. Colin Creveling and Mikael Walter appear in the title roles, bringing vitality, humor, and tenderness to their fateful story. Guided by Bob Hall's direction and set design, the Flatwater Shakespeare production presents the couple, their friends and families, and the citizens of Verona all affected by passionate encounters with love, desire, anger, and responsibility. Other principal performers include Sean Schmeits as Mercutio, Rob Burt as Benvolio, Margy Ryan as Juliet's nurse, Brad Boesen as Friar Laurence, Matt Lukasiewicz as Tybalt, Fred Stuart and Mary Douglass as Juliet's parents, and Dick Nielsen and Linda Nettland as Romeo's parents. Visit the Flatwater Shakespeare Company website, www.flatwatershakespeare.org, for more information and to reserve tickets.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What Else We Did Last Summer

The Flatwater Youth Production of The Comedy of Errors--The Female Version was staged at the Swan Theatre at Wyuka on the evenings of June 19, 20, and 21. Youth Director Tom Crew assembled and trained a charming cast, featuring Ellie Tasler and Petrea Whittier as the Antiphola twins, with Emily and Erica Johnson as the Dromia twins.

As the names of two actors indicate, we had the luxury of having real-life twin sisters playing two of the main roles, which required some ingenious costuming by Bonnie Whittier: most productions make use of the way that the twins are dressed to suggest how their identities could be confused, but we had to help audiences tell the girls apart.

As the names of the characters indicate, the play was adapted by Education Director Stephen Buhler so that the genders of all the roles were reversed. Ephesus was now ruled by a Duchess, played by Lindsay Masen; women were in charge of the thriving business scene both in that city and in Syracuse. A bereft mother, played by Kellie Bate, faced death for arriving at Ephesus while searching for her twin daughters and their twin servants. Reed Baillie played the husband of Antiphola of Ephesus, with Joshua Duncan as his brother -- who received what he saw as unseemly attention from the person he thought was his sister-in-law.

Mistaken identities and switched-around gender roles led to three entertaining evenings, enjoyed by good audiences. Thanks go to the entire ensemble, which also included Jordan Anderson, Alli Derr, Emma Gruhl, Shelby Krause, Samantha Lawhorne, Mimi Merliss, Kathryn Piper, Rishi Ragsdale, Desiree Rush, Dane Whittier, and Tristan Williams as an unforgettable Gigolo. Special thanks also go to all the parents who supported the production, to instructors Amy Jirsa and Sean Schmeits, and to our invaluable Stage Manager, Brooke Erks.

Our Youth Production of Romeo and Juliet is already in rehearsal and is scheduled for presentation at the Swan on October 2, 3, and 4. The genders won't be completely reversed -- but watch for a few more "rearrangements" and many more impressive performances by our young actors.

Flatwater Shakespeare Youth Company productions have been made possible through the support of the Nebraska Humanities Council, the Nebraska Arts Council, and the Lincoln Arts Council.