Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 382.  Wednesday, 23 June 1993.
From:           Blair F. Kelly <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Jun 93 06:55:55 EDT
Subject:        [SSE 1993 Season]
I just finished seeing all three plays of the Shenandoah Shakespeare
Express's 1993 season.
Of the three plays, I thought that their Anthony and Cleopatra was the
best, closely followed by a good Midsummer Night's Dream.  I did not
enjoy their Romeo and Juliet as much.  (I freely admit that it is not
one of my more favorite of the Bard's plays.  But I keep going in the
hope that one of these times Juliet will wake up in time for a happy
ending!)  I felt that the performance was a bit rushed (which is a new
experience for me as usually I am yawning by the final scene).  Plus I
was put off by Mercutio's death speech - he hardly seemed hurt enough
to die a few minutes later.  I liked the balcony scene done with the
Folger's balcony, and wonder how it plays when the troupe is
traveling and does not have a balcony?  (At the Folger, Juliet was
able to pace and move about on the balcony.)  I did like Juliet's
raised eyebrows, tilted head, and lowered voice for the line "And what
satisfaction can you have tonight?"
All the acting by every member of the company was excellent.  (I will
not single out any performer as that would slight those whom I did not
mention.  They really are talented.)  I like this company's philosophy
of running each production as close to a running time of two hours as
possible, without intermission (or interval, as my British friends
would say).  (Question for the theater experts - In Shakespeare's time,
would productions have had intermissions/intervals?)  And of course,
their interaction with the audience really gets one involved if one
sits near the front of the house!  This year I felt that there was more
improvisation by the company than last year - I liked it.  A small
recommendation - instead of having someone in a suit introduce the
company, I would have preferred if the introduction had been given by
the swing actor/actress who was not playing in the performance.  I
really liked the introductions by the performers of their (multiple)
parts in Anthony and Cleopatra.
I highly recommend this company.  What plays are they thinking about
next season?  From seeing this company last year and this year, I would
say that they do best with the comedies and lesser known works of the
Bard.  It is hard for a traveling troupe to compete with the major
works against established theaters.  But then I am happy to be proven

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