Shakespeare, Surprise, & Other Drugs

And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet
— Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1.1

Walking into the Armory Theatre last night, home of Portland Center Stage, everything except for the play was unknown. I had not yet seen an Anonymous Theatre Company production, which in earlier years was by special invite. A regular fixture in the Portland theatre calendar, their one-night-a-year productions advertise only the director(s) and the play title, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The cast isn’t known to us, or even to one another. Last night, the night of the show, was the first they saw the stage, said these words in public, formed these relationships within the world of the play. The actors were come in amongst us, having taken their seats in the audience to wait out their cue—one even so long as act five. In a play about unexpected transformations, the added level of secrecy and coordinated reveals left me wondering to what extent I rely on the affect of surprise to buoy me through a theatrical experience.

Titania (Joellen Sweeney) falls in love with an ass, Bottom (Jessica Tidd).

Continue reading “Shakespeare, Surprise, & Other Drugs”

July Blogroll: PDX Summer Shakespeare Edition

Dear readers:

This summer is bursting with Shakespeare and Shakespeare-ish performance options running all price ranges in the Portland area. Strangely, sadly, I am actually in California for a research fellowship, and so am missing a great deal of the offerings. Regardless, I did want to let you know what was available. Maybe you’ll let me know what you think?

Samuel French Film & Theatre Bookshop, Los Angeles, CA.

Continue reading “July Blogroll: PDX Summer Shakespeare Edition”