Combining all the elements involved to present live theatre to an audience is never easy, but always rewarding. Since mid-February, when my son Sean and I held auditions for "Much Ado About Nothing", a large portion of my time - especially evenings - has been focused on that goal.
When we formed this thespian endeavor a couple of years ago, we knew we wanted to bring to the stage new, edited versions of Shakespeare's works, to rival the notion that his plays are long and difficult to understand. For example, our script of this play is one hour and forty minutes, has no intermission, and we delight in watching the audience happily involved in the characters and plot. We have been successful in changing minds about the Bard, winning new audience members to classic theatre.
We've also been lucky to welcome many actors who are eager to be in Shakespeare plays, and love our unique way of presenting them. Our budget is small, our space to perform is an open black box style theatre, and we design sets and costumes that offer the audiences imaginative backdrops for the story that unfolds.
As co-director with my son on this production, and three others prior, I have delighted in being his second. He and I each have individual strengths when it comes to knowing how to motivate and instruct. His creativity as well as his definitive knowledge of Shakespeare, coupled with his mantra to the cast and crew that "we're all here to play and enjoy" make for a happy atmosphere where everyone works at bringing their best.
Going from first rehearsal to opening night takes hours and hours of concentrated honing of ideas and technique, of changes and growth that eventually bring us to that first night before an audience. I can never say enough about the work our actors never cease to give us.
Presenting quality theatre is a collaborative effort, from auditions to final bows, and it is a passion that gives me never-ending joy.