Friday, June 09, 2006

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged - Absurd Reality Theater at the Northwest Actors Studio

Is is possible for three men to perform all thirty-seven of William Shakespear's plays in one hour and a half performance? Apparently it is! The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged combines modern rap, classical theatre, improvisation, all of Shakespeare's plays and Chuck Taylor All-Stars. This production, managed by Amanda Stoddard and created by the artistic team as a whole, takes the skeleton of a play that has been laid down by writers Adam Long, Daniel singer and Jess Winfield and gives it it's guts and skin. However, the guts and skin don't hold together too strongly. In this short play, timing and delivery are painfully important and difficult to control. Neither of these elements are as solid as they need to be. For the most part, the deliveries seemed a bit forced and inauthentic. Aside from the acting elements, the technical aspects also seemed a bit off kilter. The sound cues all seemed to be having volume difficulties, either too loud or much too quiet to fit with the action on stage.

Though there are some pitfalls to the production, it is extremely entertaining! Though the sound cues are somewhat troublesome, what they are are hilarious. The song choices and use are fantastic. Also, the simplicity of the set with the humorous and fun swirl design on the curtains add the aspect of whimsicalness to the set that exists in the play itself. Brandon Ryan, one of the three actors, does an outstanding job in his roles and Tracie Owens (Light Operator) is as precise as the lights themselves.

This is a fantastically fun production to see and experience and even participate in. Enjoy the couches and the wacky fun of the show!

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