WuToWu #66: Ashland Shakespeare Festival

Hi Curtis,

Ok I’m very late yes, but freshman me did not really think this far in the future about obligations junior year me would have.

Anyways as you know, a couple days after getting back from the east coast I left in a charter bus for an 8 hour ride to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Here are some musings on the things on the shows I saw.

Since we left at 8 AM we managed to sneak in a show our first evening there. We saw
“Vietgone” a show about two immigrants after the Vietnam war. It self proclaims itself as “not another war musical” as it focuses primarily on their relation not on the war itself. It was quite humorous and used “code switching” very well as any character speaking English sounded something like “hamburger freedom, flag!” which added some light hearted humor to some heavy scenes. Because the cast and scene was set with a very Asian influence I could really relate to some aspects of it. I felt that it was a really good way to start off the trip.

The next morning, we saw the world premiere of an adaption of Dicken’s “Great Expectations”.  I’m not sure if it was the little amount of sleep I got or the fact that it was 3 hours long but it felt very long. Having never read the book (that’s right no shame) I was interested by the story line which did feel a little off in the pacing. One interesting thing was the age differences between the two “children” actors. I use that world in quotes because while the young pip was 12, I was very surprised to read that the young Esmeralda was actually in college.

That evening we saw an adaption of “The Yoemen of the Guard”. This production was interesting as they had roughly 50 people sitting in the middle of the action. As the actors would move around, they would politely ask people to move by pointing to the area they needed to be. It was also in great contrast time-wise as it ran only hour (which was great since it started at 8).

The next morning we saw “Twelfth Night” by everyone’s favorite playwright Shakespeare and I don’t know how to put this politely but I was SO EXCITED. In this version, they had one person (Sara Bruner) play both Sebastian and Viola so *SPOILER* (Can it really be called this at this point) when the reveal scene came they used a projection scene to split the actress into two different people. On a kinda side note, they set it in the 1920s in Hollywoodland (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)

I hope that it’s warmed up over there.





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