By Any Means Necessary

It has begun.

Another Janus Shakespeare production started rehearsals last week. It wasn’t easy getting to that point. And we  had to take some detours along the way, but we finally got started.

What a relief. And what a challenge.

The original production planned was Richard III. We had to abandon that when we lost our lead actor to some unforseen circumstances. Some people  might say, “Well, just get somebody else.” We could have done that. But the plan was to work with this particular actor in this specific play. And after weeks of preliminary work, I/we weren’t prepared to chuck it all for someone we didn’t know. Plus, as we all know, getting men to play Shakespeare is harder than it sounds.

So I changed the play. With little time to make a decision, I pulled Macbeth off the shelf and dove into the text. After a couple days equivocating, it became clear that we could do this. The only thing: I had to cut the text way back (not necessarily a bad thing) and work with the actors we had from auditions for R3 and find some available company members (more on that later) to help round out the cast.

Even after all that, we had some bumps in the road, when we lost an actor on the first day of rehearsals. After a while you get used to these little shocks until you become numb to it all, and then you just keep moving forward – by any means necessary. If that sounds dramatic, remember, this a theater company.

So here we are; initial impressions of the cast have been good. The cuts for the play seem to be working. We have some familiar faces back in Sarafina, Tony and Dan, and some new people, like Adam, Ross and Luke. And saving the day for the actor I lost is Angela (who played Mercutio in last year’s all-female R&J) and now I finally get to work with Laurie, which is exciting, considering I saw her in an excellent production of  The Laramie Project some years ago that really moved me.

The pieces are in place. We’re working to connect them. I’ll be very curious to see what it all looks like when we open.

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