|What excites you about this new remount?
This was a delightful kind of windfall, and it came out of nowhere! It was such a blessing to hear that they wanted to revive this. I know that it hasn’t aged, as it’s made of pretty immortal stuff. I’m excited to see what the new cast is doing with it, and think that switching the gender [of one of the younger lovers from male to female] is fantastic. You and I know, dealing with period texts where there is such a large ratio of men’s to women’s roles, what a challenge it is to find opportunities for women performers to get to do this material that they are so able to perform, in Shakespearean terms.
People who want a really pleasurable, sensuous entertainment that is not shallow, this is for them. I could not be more delighted that it is coming back.
What do you think of the touch of adding contemporary poets at the end of each performance?
I think it’s a great idea! It will be really interesting to see how poets are writing love poetry now and how close to and how far away that’s gotten from how they used to do it. It’s always interesting to see same human experiences expressed in different ways. It will be fun to see how much and how little has changed— as the emotional and human experiences are still the same. For most of us, watching a play or reading renaissance poetry, we aren’t remembering 400 years ago, we are remembering a time when we were 17.
I’m doing a few of the post-play poetry readings, and I’m on the fence about what I’m going to present. There’s a great short-short story by Lon Otto called Love Poems that I might share. I’ll possibly be trying to stick to the sonnet form, carry it forward through the centuries to see how it has been used. Sonnets are the prevalent form in this play, and they continue to be written! I was recently reading through a lot of different sonnets over the past 400 years, and it’s interesting to see all the uses they’ve been put to, and different time periods they reflect. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses. . .” that’s a sonnet. We are celebrating “that little room” as it’s called by poets who wrote in it.
A lot of my motivation in producing the play was hearing the language that is usually reserved for silent reading brought to life, restored to life. It doesn’t work the same silently, it works more out loud. I was fueled by the desire to honor the written word, and to celebrate it in the best possible way, to get back to its source and put it into the air. That’s what the actors, Daniel, me, the poets all are about—the eloquent and moving expression of soul.
Opens February 9th and runs until February 25th. Get your tickets now!