Ok, going off subject for just a moment, I love Shakespeare in the park. It’s a delight of summer like ice-cold beer and baseball and hand-made ice cream and hotdogs on the grill. Acting groups everywhere are setting up in parks with makeshift costumes to play out the comedies of Shakespeare. Who wants to watch a tragedy in the middle of a park in summer? Leave that to the dull months of winter and professional troupes who can afford to make austere stages and play Hamlet as a biker from the 50’s.
In the summer it’s all about love and romance and idiots making fun of the great and the great being idiots. It’s about being funny enough that kids enjoy the play if only for the big people being ridiculous. I went to see a local group put on the Tempest yesterday in a concrete park with a massive waterfall fountain and river and pond in it. They used buckets to scoop the water out at the top of the waterfall and throw it down to simulate the storm. They used a folded paper boat to represent the great ship tossed in the storm. The faery fished the remnants of the paper out of the fountain when it dissolved into pulp.
I think the instructions at the beginning were the best I’ve heard in a long while and true of all Shakespeare in the park productions. “The actors here are volunteers working for your donations and your participation. So the more you laugh at the jokes, applaud the heroes, sigh at the lovers and hiss at the villains the better it will be for all of us. Give it your all and so will we. The play’s the thing…”