“Six Weeks will quickly steep themselves in night; Six weeks will quickly dream away the time, And then the moon, like to a silver bow Now bent in Heaven, shall behold the (days) and night Of our solemnities.” ~with apologies to Willy S.
I cannot believe that two weeks are already gone. Poof, made fairy dust and blow away into all corners of time and the atmosphere. They have tripped away, but made their stay, for I have found myself truly blessed to be among artistic (and summer camp) chaos.
I met Katie, a choreographer/dancer last night, after a GREAT performance by The Whispering Tree in NYC. We were discussing dance and theater, and when I was talking about the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (AMND) that I am directing and collaborating on, she beamed back to me how much my face lit up and how much she can see I love what I’m doing.
Katie is right. I’m having an overall blast working with 45 inner city kids on AMND. While it’s edited down for age appropriateness (Shakespeare, and his times, loved bawdiness) and time constraints, the the story is preserved, and while the play is the thing, the story to be heard is intact. People used to go to Shakespearean & Elizabethan plays to HEAR the play.
Language can be beautiful.
In speaking to the producer (and heart) ofwhere the summer camp resides, I mentioned how well, during our first read through, the campers said the truly antiquated language. It both shocked and pleased me to no ends (the funny thing being that the simpler, everyday words were the ones that tripped some of them).
We’ve done our adaptation of adding some songs, dances, “gags” (stunts), and tomfoolery to help move the play along already. This week I start getting everything on it’s feet and the beginning salvo of blocking starts.
So many people, over the years, have often expressed their qualms in the accessibility of Shakespearean productions. I aim to further quash all those fears and misgivings through this version of AMND. The campers, my dreamers, are excited about all the fun that is going into this. I have seen deep thought and rehearsal practice this past week that has truly made me more excited about making this choice.
Shakespeare wrote for the masses. He was, as I’ve said before, THE pop culture icon of his time. The great adapter. He did not, as many will try to tell you, write for the elite and only for the elite. He was a populist and it should always be about the people, the masses, you Groundlings, you, who have come for an entertainment.
I aims to have the Dreamers (the camper, the actresses and actors) do that: entertain you. They are doing that with great gusto and vigor.