A group of us went to see Funk It Up About Nothin' again last Thursday night and had a lot of fun. After the show we went to the bar (Chicago Shakespeare has its own bar, since it started in a bar, I suppose that is appropriate, besides, bars and theater people go hand in hand) and hung out with GQ, JQ (the creators of Funk It Up About Nothin') and some of the cast. It was an amazing night. Click on a picture for a better view and captions.
All three founders of Storefront Shakespeare are in the top left photo, can you guess who they are? Comment below, if you're the first person to get it correct (and aren't a member of Storefront Shakespeare) I'll give you a free ticket to our As You Like It opening February 11th!
Hello all, Georgina McDonald here, and I'm Storefront Shakespeare's guest blogger today! I'm ecstatic to be in Storefront's, As You Like It, playing the witty, funny, kinda perverse, (and in my case) beautiful fool, Touchstone. At first I was surprised to hear that I was made Touchstone, because I didn't think it was possible to make him a woman. It was easier when I was playing Puck (bottom pic) in Storefront's last production, A Midsummer Nights Dream, because Puck can be made to be either gender. Touchstone is a completely male role, so trying to turn it into a female role has been a bit challenging. I've had to change the wording in many of my lines and I've had to try to find a way to be funny, yet sensual at the same time. In the play Touchstone tries to get into the skirt of, and ends up having to marry a goatherd named Audrey. So Artistic Director, Nora Manca, decided to make Audrey a man, but have him keep the name Audrey to add humor. While characters like Rosalind, Celia, and Corin, have to make fun of me and push me around, I have to take it and be funny with it, while at the same time having to act sensual, and seduce Audrey in MC Hammer orange pants! I keep asking myself how can any woman make MC Hammer orange pants look sexy? I hope for the play's sake and my sake that I can pull off being a funny, yet sexy Touchstone. Touchstone also makes many perverse remarks throughout the play, that I have to make easy for adults to catch, yet not noticeable to children. I love this role because it's really challenged me and made me grow as an actress. I hope that I can do justice to this amazing role. So to all of those who read this, I leave you with this as Touchstone, if you have a mind, or wit, come to Storefront Shakespeare's As You Like It! :D
I went to see Chicago Shakespeare's Funk It Up About Nothin' last Saturday night and really enjoyed myself. Funk It Up About Nothin' is what they are calling a "hip-hoptation" of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing created and directed by a couple young men named simply GQ and JQ.
I must admit, I was a little skeptical that I would enjoy myself at first, I'm not a hip-hop or rap kind of girl. But my house-mate Gina really wanted to go and Chicago Shakespeare's Facebook page had a deal where you could get two tickets for twenty dollars to opening weekend, so we did a double date and went. I am so glad we did.
I was able to understand the rapping just fine and the adaptation was so cleverly done, sticking very closely to the storyline, weaving seamlessly between the English we speak today and Shakespeare's own complicated and beautiful style.
Funk it Up About Nothin' kept me (and everyone else) laughing the entire time with lovable characters, evil villains and witty repartee.
I'm going again on Thursday (one of the last days to go with the two for twenty with the promo code FRIEND) and I highly recommend that you do too!
On Saturday we had our first board meeting! Officers were elected and bylaws are being written! Our Chair and Secretary is Jerome Urbik, our Vise Chair is Luigi Manca and our Treasurer is Sunny Verma.
I am very excited by this. I will admit that it will not be easy to sit back (and only make recommendations) and let other people decide the future and make the big decisions for the company I have worked so hard to start, but I am still Artistic Director, and I think that the board will do a good job and that it is important to have a system of checks and balances. I am also looking forward to seeing the board grow and develop over the years. I am very happy to see Storefront Shakespeare take this next step!
So, I accidentally scheduled our As You Like It to be going on at the same time as Chicago Shakespeare's As You Like It. Next time I will pay more attention to their season to make sure people don't think we're copying them. Not that it really matters. Our two productions of As You Like It are so different they almost seem like different plays, which, I think, is a wonderful example of how two different directors can bring such different visions to the same play.
Our As You Like It is set in modern-day India where Duke has fled into the forest and established herself as a Guru after her sister's hostile take-over of the family company Court Corp. Back in the city, Frederica Duke worries that the presence of her niece undermines her power and claim to the company.
Chicago Shakespeare's As You Like It is a delightful production that seems to be saying "What if Jane Austen had written As You Like It?" I absolutely loved it. The choices were often very different from mine, but they were charming and funny.
I highly recommend that you see both The Chicago Shakespeare As You Like It and the Storefront Shakespeare As You Like It so that you can see just how different two shows with the same script can be and enjoy the hilarious situations Shakespeare puts his characters through as interpreted by two very different directors.
Stay tuned! Publicity shots, video blogs and more, coming up!
We are now Storefront Shakespeare - a Not-For-Profit Corporation! Yaay!
Now we are going to have board meetings and apply for tax exempt status, because we are both literary and educational. I'm so happy!
Here are some photos from last week's fight choreograph rehearsal! Here you can see Adam Armstrong working with Scott Surowiecki, Christopher Bellanger and Eric Gronkiewicz.
When I was sixteen I took a class from the brilliant Elisabeth Kubek Ph.D. at Benedictine University, focusing on some of Shakespeare's plays and she invited a genius of a man (who would forever change the way I approached Shakespeare's works) to come and talk to us. His name was (and still is) Neil Freeman. Neil Freeman is a preeminent scholar of Shakespeare's texts and has published many wonderful books (to the delight of Shakespeare lovers everywhere) including preparing and annotating many of the first folio texts for Applause Books. The Applause First Folio Editions that Neil Freeman focus on the unedited first folio versions of the scripts but with footnotes discussing many of the Quarto and modern text variations, he also includes a blank page on the left for each page (on the right) of script so that actors and scholars have plenty of room for notes.
When I started Storefront Shakespeare, I looked everywhere for the Neil Freeman script for Midsummer, but I couldn't remember his last name, none of the bookstores I search had any of his books and I couldn't find the one script of his that I did own. Recently, I was going through a box of books and I found my Applause First Folio Edition of Romeo and Juliet! I was so happy. In our next production, we will be using Neil Freeman's Applause First Folio scripts!
Stay tuned! More on why I value the first folio edition and pictures from tonight's fight choreographing rehearsal are coming up!
SO Nora has fallen ill (feel better, Nora!) and she was gracious enough to ask me to write the guest blog for tonight. I’ve never written a blog before, I only tweet incessantly. So bare with me folks, I’ll try my best not to bore you.
Since I am playing Rosalind I decided I’d talk about how insanely cool this character is. I’ve been told that Rosalind is the largest female role among all female roles written by Shakespeare. Needless to say I’m going to have some real fun memorizing all my lines.
I’m super excited to get into my character because Rosalind has so much depth and versatility; it’s going to be an absolute blast playing this part. I see the character of Rosalind as a tomboy trapped inside a princess’s body.
On the outside, Rosalind is a princess and must act delicate, feminine, and always in control. I found a couple pictures that inspire me in developing the feminine side of Rosalind:
I think I’m more excited to play Ganymede than Rosalind as a feminine princess. Rosalind as Ganymede is closer to my actual personality. One of my favorite scenes in the place is Act 4 Scene1, when Ganymede is trying to condition Orlando away from love. I’m looking forward to hamming it up in that scene and playing a stereotypical, dramatic female, really try to scare Orlando. Here are some inspiring pictures for the masculine side of Rosalind:
What do YOU think Rosalind's characteristics should entail?
OK thanks for reading guys! I don't want to take over Nora's page haha.
AND if anyone has tips on how to memorize lines, give them here! I'm always open to suggestions.
xoxo-- Your Rosalind :) (That's Madiha to the real world)
Nora Manca Wickman was the founding Artistic Director of Storefront Shakespeare and has a MFA and MLitt in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA
Blogs I recommend:
Emma Wallace's Music
A Cat of Impossible Color
Ooo She Bop
Havoc The Cat