“Feast here awhile”: Shakespeare for a Portland Autumn

Dear readers:

According to American Theatre magazine, “Shakespeare remains the most-produced playwright in the country, with 108 productions (including various adaptations). And this year his most-produced play will be Twelfth Night with 9 productions.” In fact, Shakespeare in Love was the most produced play of the year, with 15 full-scale professional productions nation-wide. This does not take into account all of the Shakespeare-ish works making the rounds to be excited for, including the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) and Emma Whipday’s Shakespeare’s Sister. If you are in the Portland area this fall, there are a couple of exciting productions to keep your eyes peeled for.

Pericles Wet

This December, Portland Shakespeare Project will be producing a full-scale run of my colleague, Ellen Margolis’ adaptation of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Based on the act printed in a recent issue of Proscenium and a reading I saw last year, this is likely to prove special. This re-magining refocuses on the assault of Princess Hesperides and the framing device of Gower.

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Fresh Eyes on Artist Rep’s “Feathers & Teeth”

¶ Dear all,

Over the past month or so, I’ve been fortunate to sit-in on the process of developing Charise Castro Smith’s Feathers & Teeth for Artist Repertory Theatre here in Portland. The “Fresh Eyes” program, part of the theatre’s Table|Room|Stage initiative, invites respondents from diverse backgrounds to join rehearsals at all the different stages of development—from first-day design pitches to the champaign toast in the green room on opening night—and then to share their observations in a series of blog posts. Another local Shakespearean, Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner (Linfield College), shared his posts for their recent Paula Vogel play, A Civil War Christmas, with me and I couldn’t resist.

¶ My current book project is on the repertory system and the ways in which it structured the Elizabethan theatre industry as well as the playgoing experience. Watching those companies that continue to use the system—even in its much-changed form—is immensely helpful at these early stages in the project. (Which might be to say, at this stage of re-conceiving the doctoral dissertation as a monograph.) All the better, I got to share the experience with Anthony Hudson (a.k.a. Carla Rossi), a powerhouse drag artists specializing in clown and/as horror. Not only did I get to observe practitioners in process, but I got to chat and get feedback from another observing practitioner! Here’s what we saw:

  1. Is it “a little ferret, a fox, or a rat”? (9 Feb, 2017)
  2. Hotdogs, Grandmas, and Nazis (19 Feb. 2017)
  3. REEL Blood & Vinyl Dining (24 Feb. 2017)
  4. The Girl in the Fable (5 Mar. 2017)
  5. Grief and Other Beasties (16. Mar. 2017)

¶ I can’t thank Luan Schooler enough for the lovely opportunity, as well as the production team who were so incredibly welcoming and forthcoming with any questions that I had. Feathers & Teeth runs through 2 April. Grab tickets here while they last!

¶ Cheers!
¶ Elizabeth