Watching the audience is one of my favorite parts of the experience at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. Unlike with most Shakespeare companies, the crowd is normally eclectic, representing a range of ages, ethnicities, and fashion sensibilities. The packed house on opening night of Much Ado About Nothing—the first of five shows that make up the company’s famed Actor’s Renaissance Season for 2012—was no exception, and the place simply buzzed with anticipation.
The “Ren” season, as it is lovingly called by regulars, is particularly fun for theatergoers, because it offers a taste of the shear madness that was common in Shakespeare’s time. Plays are produced with no special lighting, no sets, and no electronic sound (which is standard practice for American Shakespeare Center productions), but the ‘Ren’ season shows have no director, no costume designer, and entail only two days of rehearsal time before their opening nights. Much Ado is glorious, hilarious, magical mayhem, and the audience gobbled it up like a favorite dessert, rewarding the actors with six curtain-less curtain calls and a standing ovation.
For best seats, order tickets for Much Ado about Nothing today.
Written by Mary Burress for C-Ville Weekly, January 10, 2012.
|<< March 2015 >>|
Every Man in His Humour
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 2:00 pm
The White Devil
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 7:30 pm
The Taming of the Shrew
Sunday, March 29, 2015, 2:00 pm
Actors' Renaissance Season