|Richard's brother is cuffed and clueless.|
The Hudson Warehouse production of R3 (as we classically-trained aesthetes casually call the play) is performing outside. We also rehearsed outside. We even change our clothes outside. I think my boxer-briefs are being discussed by the joggers who run by.
|This previous Hudson Warehouse production gives a very good idea of what our performances look like. Except that our audiences run the risk of being splattered with blood.|
|This murder mystery, from 1993, was performed in a burned|
out WWII building.
|Director Nicholas Martin-Smith gives notes to the cast, sprawled out on the steps of the monument.|
|Two goofballs are hired by Richard to off his brother. That's me wandering around in the background in my undershirt.|
|Director Nicholas found some shade.|
|The Duke of Clarence needs a Gatorade. Or a beer.|
|A sudden downpour affects the steps to the subway platform. You can only imagine the hot, sticky mess you become as you emerge from such a commute.|
|The Greek Theater of Dionysus, at the foot of the Acropolis, seated thousands more than our little space. And the acoustics were better.|
|Howling at the setting sun is a good way to warm up for the|
shoutfest which is our show.
But about a week before we opened, a funny thing happened. That shouting turned into actual communication. I was actually talking to other actors, and listening to their responses. At full volume, of course, but communication was taking place. Woo hoo! Or rather, WOO HOO!
|After weeks of rehearsing, communication actually started|
And now our run has begun, and so has the fun. Performing this show is much easier than rehearsing it (that is not always the case). I play two...um..."compact" roles. The first is that of George, Duke of Clarence (hence the title of today's entry). Clarence, as he is known in the play, is the middle brother of the Yorks, who, at this point in English history, have won the Wars of the Roses and gained the English throne.
|Eldest brother Edward's wheelchair is a dead giveaway: |
he's not long for this world.
Elder brother is Edward IV, king at the start of the play, and younger brother is You Know Who.
|"What hump?" Our leading man, Vince Phillip, is giving a|
bravura performance. (Or is that bravuro?)
|No, it's not an interpretive dance. It's my death scene. The photo was snapped from the audience during performance, so forgive the fact that all the actors and even the audience are facing upstage.|
|This guy became a media star leading|
up to the Olympics.
He continues the tradition of comical
Mayors of London.
Hudson Warehouse, our producing organization, has been presenting free Shakespeare in Riverside Park for nine summers, and calls itself "the Other Shakespeare In The Park." After our opening weekend, I have begun to see the attraction of appearing here.
|There is something a little mystical about performing|
outside in the elements, something those
inventors of theatre, the Greeks, knew.
The acoustics are bad, the cement steps are hard, and the other park visitors often stroll right across our playing space in the middle of the action, but there does seem to be something special about performing on this terrace as the sun goes down. Our show is performed by natural light, so once the sun sets, we are playing in the dark. Luckily, the final few minutes of R3 take place in the darkness of battle, and even include a ghost sequence, so Mother Nature's lighting design helps rather than hurts.
|The late afternoon sun spills visual treats onto our playing space.|
|The sun sets on our playing space and, at the same time,|
on the poor Duke of Clarence.
When I was a kid, growing up in Atlanta, I was fascinated by the theatre, but thought I would one day be a journalist or a lawyer or a teacher; acting was never an option. By the time I was in college in Los Angeles, I was sure I would remain in L.A., knocking around the film industry and paying my bills by waiting tables. Years later, even while I was in grad school, earning my MFA in Acting, I could not imagine that I would one day be spending a month performing raw and rustic Shakespeare, in a park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, along the banks of the Hudson River, in that most theatrical of cities, New York, NY. I wonder how all this happened?