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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Kind of Fool Am I? (Parte the Firste)


Artificial Fool or Natural Fool?

The Fool of the Early Modern stage derives from the idea of the court jester, who from the Middle Ages on had been “licensed” (permitted and expected) to express the truth as long as he did so entertainingly. Robert Armin was the first actor in such roles as Feste, Touchstone (in As You Like It), Thersites (in Troilus and Cressida) and Lear’s Fool; all are examples of what Olivia calls “an allowed fool.” Armin consciously drew upon the history of Fooling in his performances, including the career of Henry VIII’s jester, Will Sommers; he wrote about Sommers in Foole Upon Foole, published in 1600 (around the time of his debut with Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men). Armin was also mindful of Queen Elizabeth's jesters, including John Pace, who gave up an academic career for fooling (no comments, please!) – first in the Duke of Norfolk's service, and then for the Queen. Shakespeare further gives Feste an awareness of his character's origins in Medieval drama, singing about “the Old Vice” – a figure who mocked authority, performed (and often improvised) song and dance, is very interested in money (note Feste's skill in begging), and calls attention to his entrances and exits (note Feste's first appearance, after a long absence from Olivia's household). 

Fools could also be “natural” – what different eras would term “simpletons” or “the mentally disabled.” Malvolio criticizes Feste for being outdone by “an ordinary fool that has no more brain than a stone.” Maria suspects Sir Andrew of being “almost natural” – that is, the natural kind of fool. Feste is instead an “artificial” fool, a skilled (or artful) performer wittily able to document Olivia's and Orsino's own folly. As Viola observes: “This fellow is wise enough to play the fool; / And to do that well craves a kind of wit. / He must observe their mood on whom he jests, / The quality of persons, and the time . . . . This is a practice / As full of labor as a wise man's art.”

The Production and Touring Schedule for Flatwater Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:
June 13-17 and 20-24 – Lincoln Community Foundation Garden (near 14th and N)
June 28 – Antelope Park (27th and A)
June 29 – Trago Park (22nd and T)
June 30 – Henry Park (44th and Prescott)
July 1 – Wyuka Cemetery (35th and O)
July 5 – First Plymouth Church (20th and D)
July 6 – Havelock Park (62nd and Havelock)
July 7 – Irvingdale Park (19th and Van Dorn)
July 8 – Bethany Park (66th and Vine)

All shows starts at 7 p.m.  Call 402-473-2897 for performance information.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Better a Witty Fool Than a Foolish Wit



The award-winning Flatwater Shakespeare Company proudly presents its Summer 2012 open-air production, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Bob HallTwelfth Night 
will run Wednesday through Sunday evenings, June 13 - June 24, 7:00 p.m. (note earlier starting time), at The Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, located on “N” Street, between 14th and Centennial Mall, in downtown Lincoln.

The show will then play Thursday through Sunday evenings, June 28 – July 8 at eight Lincoln area parks and other outdoor venues. Last year's production and tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream has earned Flatwater Shakespeare a Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Event, to be presented on June 18. 

Call 402-473-2897 for performance information.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is one of Shakespeare's most romantic comedies, featuring twins, pirates, lovers, scoundrels, clowns, disguises, and mistaken identities. It comes with music, duels, romance, and ribaldry.

Viola is separated from her twin brother, Sebastian, after being shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria. She assumes a male identity, Cesario, and becomes a trusted attendant of Count Orsino. While serving as a messenger in Orsino's pursuit of the Lady Olivia, Viola finds that Olivia has instead fallen in love with “Cesario.” Making matters even more complicated is Viola's own growing love for Orsino. Meanwhile, Olivia is also being courted by the foolish Sir Andrew Aguecheek, an acquaintance of Olivia's uncle, the bibulous Sir Toby Belch. Maria, Olivia's lady-in-waiting, devises a trick on Malvolio, who manages Olivia's estate, so that spoilsport Malvolio is convinced that Olivia is in love with him. As Viola asks: “How will this fadge?” (That's Shakespearean for “How can all this work out?”) As Feste the wise jester observes: “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

Director Hall has again assembled a stellar cast, highlighting the strengths of the Flatwater Shakespeare Company ensemble. Maggie Austin plays Viola, who pretends to be Cesario. Nathan Weiss is the love-struck Orsino and Summer Widhalm the much-pursued Olivia. Richard Nielsen is Malvolio, who falls victim to the schemes of Tom Crew's Sir Toby, Marie Barrett's Maria, and Clay Stevens's Sir Andrew. Andy Dillehay is the musical and melancholy jester Feste. Other Flatwater Shakespeare veterans include Richard Imig, Mike Lee, John Marinovich, and Cory Misek. Joining the ensemble are Michael De La Rosa and Shade Ingraham.

Joining Bob Hall's creative team are Janice Stauffer, costumes; Richard Schroeder, lighting; Michelle Zinke, stage manager; and Stephen Buhler, dramaturg. The production tour is coordinated by Andy Dillehay.

The production and tour have received generous support from the Lincoln Community Foundation and the Woods Charitable Fund and are being presented in cooperation with The Lincoln Department of Parks and Recreation, First Plymouth Church and Wyuka Cemetery, Ivanna Cone and The Haymarket Theatre. In keeping both with our mission to engage new audiences for classic theater, we are offering admission to all performances of Twelfth Night free of charge. We suggest a freewill donation of $10 but our policy is – donate what you can, but just give Shakespeare a try. Come join the fun under the stars!

The Production and Touring Schedule:
June 13-17 and 20-24 – Lincoln Community Foundation Garden (near 14th and N)
June 28 – Antelope Park (27th and A)
June 29 – Trago Park (22nd and T)
June 30 – Henry Park (44th and Prescott)
July 1 – Wyuka Cemetery (35th and O)
July 5 – First Plymouth Church (20th and D)
July 6 – Havelock Park (62nd and Havelock)
July 7 – Irvingdale Park (19th and Van Dorn)
July 8 – Bethany Park (66th and Vine)

On July 19, 20, and 21, Flatwater Shakespeare and The Haymarket Theatre will stage a Youth version of the play, directed by Rob Burt and Jordan Deffenbaugh. Performances will take place at The Haymarket Theatre, 803 “Q” Street. Showtimes are 7:00 pm all three dates, with a 2:00 pm matinee added on July 21. Call 402-477-2600 for more information. This production has been supported by the Nebraska Humanities Council.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Support Flatwater Shakespeare on Give to Lincoln Day

Support the Flatwater Shakespeare Company on Give to Lincoln Day! 

Give To Lincoln Day is your chance to make a real impact on Lincoln’s quality of life. We encourage everyone to join the Lincoln Community Foundation for a record-setting day of giving on May 17th. Together, we have the power to raise thousands of dollars to support Flatwater Shakespeare and other nonprofit organizations in the city. Every donation you make on May 17th helps your favorite charities even more because they will also receive a proportional share of our $200,000 challenge match pool!

On May 17th, the Lincoln community will come together for 24 hours of giving from 12:00am to 11:59pm. Gifts can be made online and will also be accepted in person during regular business hours at the Lincoln Community Foundation, 215 Centennial Mall South. All donations will be matched with a proportional share of a $200,000 challenge match pool of funds. The challenge fund is provided by the Lincoln Community Foundation and its partnering sponsors. In addition, the top three organizations that have the greatest number of donors making gifts on May 17th will receive bonus grants of $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

Just follow this link: http://givetolincoln.razoo.com/story/Flatwater-Shakespeare-Company 

For more information, visit the Lincoln Community Foundation website: http://www.lcf.org/ and click on the Give to Lincoln Day graphic.

Thanks for supporting Flatwater Shakespeare – our open-air production of Twelfth Night (at the Lincoln Community Foundation Garden and then touring Lincoln) opens June 13!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

*Twelfth Night* Brings Midsummer Madness to Lincoln



The Flatwater Shakespeare Company proudly presents its June/July, open-air production of 2012: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, directed by Bob Hall.

Twelfth Night will run Wednesday through Sunday evenings, June 13 - June 24, 7:30 p.m., at The Lincoln Community Foundation Garden, located on "N" Street, between 14th and Centennial Mall, in downtown Lincoln.

The show will then play Thursday through Sunday evenings, June 28 - July 8, at eight Lincoln area parks and other outdoor venues.

Call 402-473-2897 for information.

Thanks to generous support and in keeping both with our mission to engage new audiences for classic theater, we are offering admission to all performances of Twelfth Night free of charge. We suggest a freewill donation of $10 but our policy is – donate what you can, but just give Shakespeare a try.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most romantic comedies, featuring twins, pirates, lovers, scoundrels, clowns, disguises, and mistaken identities. It comes with music, duels, romance and ribaldry. Come join the fun under the stars!

The Cast:
Viola, a shipwrecked Gentlewoman disguised as
      Cesario, a young Gentleman:  Maggie Austin
Orsino, the lovesick Duke of Illyria: Nathan Weiss
Olivia, a grieving Noblewoman:  Summer Widhalm
Feste, a Jester:  Andy Dillehay
Malvolio, manager of Olivia’s estate:  Richard Nielsen
Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s uncle:  Tom Crew
Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a suitor to Olivia:  Clay Stevens
Maria, lady-in-waiting to Olivia: Marie Barrett
Sebastian, brother of Viola, also shipwrecked:  Cory Misek
Antonio, a mariner and alleged Pirate:  John Marinovich 
Fabian, servant to Olivia: Mike Lee
Valentine, a lord in Orsino’s court: Shade Ingraham
Curio, a lord in Orsino’s court: Michael De La Rosa
Captain, a native of Illyria: Richard Imig

The (Other) Creative Team:
Director: Bob Hall
Stage Manager: Michelle Zinke
Tour Coordinator: Andy Dillehay
Costumes: Janice Stauffer
Lighting: Rich Schroeder
Dramaturg: Stephen Buhler