David Andrew Laws, Laura Iris Hill, Jarret Kerr, Morgan Hooper, Travis Klemm, and Brian Gillespie of “Richard III”

Hamlet Isn't Dead presents William Shakespeare's Richard III, directed by Brian GillespieThe company Hamlet Isn’t Dead is on quite a mission—to produce all of Shakespeare’s plays, in the order in which they were written.

They’re up to Richard III, and as director Brian Gillespie (with the GSAS! hat trick!) points out at the top of the interview, it’s a pretty fortuitous time to be putting up what some might call the Bard’s first “hit,” what with the real, historical Richard’s body re-buried just last week. This production takes the idea of the infamous English monarch as “master manipulator,” and “explodes that metaphor—through puppetry.” Which is really cool to watch.

Listen in as Brian and five of the nine cast members—Jarret Kerr (Richard), Laura Iris Hill (Margaret and more, and also a returning podcast guest), David Andrew Laws (Buckingham, last on GSAS! with Brian for Twelve Nights), Morgan Hooper (Richmond and more), and Travis Klemm (Hastings and more)—discuss puppet workshops, working within your constraints, playing characters you’ve always loved, and the “magic trick” that comes from streamlining your cast.

“The more that I researched the play, the more I was like, ‘which characters don’t have any agency that might be controlled by others, that could be puppets?’…or, ‘there’s a lot of references to shadows, could we explore some of these nightmares with shadow puppets?’…”

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Brian Gillespie, David Andrew Laws, Jane May, Robin Rightmyer, and Amanda Tudor of “Twelve Nights”

Pull Together Productions presents Twelve Nights, written by Sean Graney and directed by Brian GillespieIn case the title, coupled with the poster art to the left, doesn’t make it obvious enough, Twelve Nights is Sean Graney’s adaptation of Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, set in the 1980s.

Gimmick? If you’re cynical, I suppose. Awesome? Indisputably, hell yeah.

I say that, and personally, I kinda hate ’80s nostalgia. This show, and production, just makes it irresistibly fun.

All the essential ingredients are there: bright polo shirts, mix-tapes on cassettes, brilliant Peter Gabriel and Say Anything and Bill & Ted and Poison references, the whole nine. And the whole story is told by only four actors rollicking thru it at full-tilt. And, as if that weren’t enough, there’s the goofing on the twelve nights of Christmas, very apropos for a show running the first couple weeks of December.

If you want some fun theatrical holiday cheer, but without all the, y’know, holiday-malarky, check this show out. Pull Together Productions is killin’ this one, y’all.

Listen in as director & Pull Together Artistic Director Brian Gillespie, along with the full cast of David Andrew Laws, Jane May, Robin Rightmyer, and Amanda Tudor discuss the benefits of forgetting, putting ’80s pop culture onto Shakespeare, joke science, She’s the Man, and acknowledging where we are and what we’re doing—even when it goes a little askew.

“…to see the audience having fun with you…they’re just so on our side from the very beginning, it’s so good to see that…'”

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Cristina Lundy of NY Shakespeare Exchange, on “Othello” and the upcoming ShakesBEER

The New York Shakespeare Exchange recently presented Othello, setting the play’s Venice in a contemporary urban setting, with the Bard’s military officers becoming ranking police officers.

For adapter/director Cristina Lundy, the analogues between Shakespeare’s tragedy set amidst the jealousies of military officers, and the contemporary world of police work—especially in “stop & frisk”-era NYC, where those who are trusted to protect, can be the ones most feared—made this production all the more urgent to present.

While the production has closed from the posting of this episode, I’d highly recommend a listen to this interview, because NY Shakespeare Exchange has got some really interesting stuff going on—like The Sonnet Project, featuring video adaptations of all 154 sonnets, and the upcoming ShakesBEER, which…well, listen to the episode for Christina to explain it. It sounds amazing, and it’s coming up very soon…

Listen in as Cristina and I discuss hidden off-off-Broadway gems, drinking with the Bard, and how Shakespeare can be for everyone.

“The people we most want, in a way, are the people who don’t think they like Shakespeare, and let us convince them otherwise…”

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Emma Schimminger, Neal Moeller, and Leanne Mercadante of Perchance to Dream’s “The Tempest”

The good folks at Perchance to Dream Theatre return to Go See a Show! to give us the low-down on their production of The Tempest, running now (for one week only!) at Theatre 54.

Director/Producer/Lighting Designer Emma Schimminger, and actors Neal Moeller (Prospero) and Leanne Mercadante (Ariel) took a break from tech to talk about Emma’s many hats, oozy gooey non-neutral masks, Leanne chasing around stage with a big dog head, and the future of Perchance to Dream after this, their first full-length production.

There’s only one weekend to catch this production, so don’t delay!

…oh, and learn a bit more about Perchance to Dream by listening to this earlier GSAS! episode (the third ever!) with company members Megan Lee & Kevin Paul Smith, which incidentally was recorded during a hurricane.

Full circle, back to The Tempest.

Perchance to Dream Theatre presents
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
directed by Emma Schimminger

July 12–15, 2012
Thursday–Saturday @ 8PM
Saturday, July 14 @ 3PM
Sunday, July 15 @ 2PM

Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios
244 W. 54th Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $15, available via Brown Paper Tickets

Casey Cleverly, director of “Twelfth Night: Wall Street”

Go See a Show! returns to Shakespeare (as it seems to do…) with Co-Op Theatre East‘s production of Twelfth Night: Wall Street, directed by COTE Literary Director Casey Cleverly.

COTE is in residence at Looking Glass Theatre, where we’ve built a huge wall onstage (courtesy of our incredible set designer Michael Simmons) as the setting for Viola, posing as Cesario, to attempt to woo the business of Olivia’s Fashion House on behalf of the firm Orsino & Partners, while 99%’ers Sir Tobey, Sir Andrew, Fabian, and Maria drink themselves into a stupor and mess with everyone’s favorite cross-garterer, Malvolio.

…before you say, “what?,” take a listen to the podcast.


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…by the way, that’s Tyrus Holden (Sir Andrew) and Sam Williams (Feste) opening the podcast…

Twelfth Night: Wall Street
by William Shakespeare
directed by Casey Cleverly
Co-Op Theatre East & Looking Glass Theatre
422 W. 57th Street
Mannahatta
Wednesday–Saturday, March 7-10, 7:30PM
Tickets available at OvationTix

photos by Michael Simmons; 1) Dana Hunter as Viola, Amanda Renee Baker as Orsino, Sam Williams as Feste; 2) Haleigh Ciel as Olivia, Dana Hunter; 3) Tyrus Holden as Sir Andrew, Michael Rehse as Sir Tobey, and Kerrie Bond as Fabian; 4) Haleigh Ciel