All The World’s a Stage

Another season, another play. I’m acting in another community theater offering this autumn, with the added bonus that I actually get to quote Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage” passage from his play, As You Like It.

Two friends and I will present The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield November 1st through 3rd in Haines.

Haines cast of Complete Works of William Shakespeare

One of the shots for the play poster. (L to R) Ryan Staska, Mark Zeiger, Riyan Stossel (Photo: Joseph McKee)

If you’ve never seen or heard of this play, first presented by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, it’s a blast! Three guys—idiots, basically—try to present at least a portion of every play Shakespeare ever published, not to mention all of his sonnets (condensed on a 3X5 card).  Hilarity, as the tired old saying goes, ensues.

Each of the three actors plays multiple roles, trying to flesh out drastically stripped down versions of the great plays. I play a bit of Othello and Marc Antony, as well as Titus Andronicus and Hamlet.

Haines cast, Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Rehearsal

Who says acting isn’t hard work? The Haines cast rehearsing one of (way too?) many death scenes from the Hamlet segment of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Photo: Gina Randles).

My partners in crime are people I have worked with before, and even directed in The Lion in Winter two years ago. Ryan played Prince Richard the Lionheart and Riyan played Prince Geoffrey. It’s been wonderful getting back together with them. We seem to have a pretty good chemistry, judging by the amount of goofing around we do while rehearsing an extremely goofy play. We’ve decided that we’ll be entertained, at least. I imagine the audience will, too, judging by the laughter from crew and other guests who have attended rehearsals. We’ve pumped it full of local references, and have struggled to stay current. The “blackface” references in Othello are particularly hard to keep up-to-date, as more and more international politicians are discovered “masquerading” as people of color.

These rehearsals, though unpleasant to get to with shifting tides and a lot of rain, as well as moose haunting the forest through which I travel, have been fun. Rehearsing with three people takes less time than with a full cast. We manage to make progress, yet still crack each other up, sometimes enough to stop the rehearsal. We’re working to infuse the performances with that energy.

Posters go up soon around Haines. We may have some folks coming over from Juneau to see it as well. Tickets are around $15 for adults, with special rates for children, and perhaps seniors? Performances are in the evening of November 1 and 2, and a Sunday matinee on the 3rd at 4:00 p.m., all at the Chilkat Center. I’ll keep you posted as we progress.

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