Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer of Shakespeare?

In which our Diva ponders the potentialities

I've been jonesing to do some Shakespeare again for a few years now.  Stepping in for a weekend as the Widow in Taming of the Shrew last year really just whetted my appetite.  So I was delighted when I read the sides for the callback I had last week -- not Shakespeare, but a pretty darn good pastiche, in perfectly respectable iambic pentameter with some nice wordplay.  (Bonus: the callback was at North Lakeside Cultural Center, so I got to get in some nice Lake Michigan shoreline time in Berger Park on a gorgeous sunny day.  I didn't grow up around water at all, and now I have a pretty little creek with a nice strip of woods a block and a half away, a gorgeous scenic river six blocks away, and a whole freshwater inland sea smack-dab against a lot of places I go.  All of them just amazing.)

Yesterday I got (and this is going to sound odd, but it's not ironic or facetious at all) the best rejection email EVER from the director of that show.  I love people like that -- he knows I'm a professional and I know the odds, that when you have three or more awesome actresses and two female roles something's gotta give, and that something is as likely to be me as anyone else, but he still took the time to write me a nice personal note and promise to keep me in mind for future projects and recommend me to other directors.  It's such a simple thing to do, and shows so much class.

I didn't even have time to be disappointed (and I am, a little, but there's never time to wallow for long around here!), because not ten minutes later I got another email -- based on a recommendation from the Shrew director -- inviting me to audition for a really cool-sounding project that is Shakespeare, but with a very intriguing twist (on a play I've done no less than three times in various capacities).  That'll be coming up in the next couple weeks, and I'm excited to learn more about it.

And then, this morning, an email from the director of last fall's Dracula, announcing auditions for the As You Like It he's directing this summer.  With all this going on, it just might be that somehow, somewhere, I'm going to get to feed that jones soon!

Time to get the Titania "forgeries of jealousy" speech solidly back in my voice and body for auditions.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of that one, and it blows my mind how often it gets cut to the bone in productions.  All that amazing imagery, and most importantly of all the arc that tells you so much about her and about their relationship: Nature is going berserk, and it's all your fault... and there's this terrible thing, and this terrible thing, and it's your fault, your fault... our fault.  "We are their parents and original."  And then, of course, Oberon opens his big mouth and blows it, because fairies are contrary that way (kinda like humans -- funny, that!).  But for that moment, there's honesty and taking responsibility and... just wow.

And GreenMan, the company where I did Dracula, is opening this fall with Pride and Prejudice. Talk about a solution to the "too many awesome actresses" problem!  Of course, at this point even my much-younger-than-my-real-age playing range (which is a bit more elastic for stage, but still) is really too old for any of the Bennet girls except maybe Jane.  And even according to my birth certificate I'm still too young for Mrs. Bennet and much too young for Lady Catherine.  Caroline Bingley could be fun (especially if I float the idea of the Lost in Austen subtext, which I still say explains an awful lot about her).  Charlotte...  hmm. Maybe.  Perhaps not coincidentally, GreenMan's season wrap-up party is tonight, so I'll be able to get the skinny on it and the rest of the upcoming season there.  I had such a great time in Dracula, and I'd love to work with them again.

3 comments:

Jeanne said...

Don't take this the wrong way, but you'd be an awesome Phoebe in AYLI, and I could very easily see you as Caroline Bingley.

Valerie Meachum said...

Heck, I'd love Phebe. I've played plenty of the aristos, but... hmm, really no rustics at all. She'd be a hoot.

And of course Caroline would be a blast. The bitchy thing always is. :-)

studiesinlight said...

I haven't seen Lost in Austen (yet?), so I don't know the subtext you mention. Shall I ask, or would that spoil the story for anyone who stumbles into this thread?

Congratulations on the Shakespeare popping up all around! Excellent fun.