Shakespeare, I Thought I Knew Ye

I’m doing local theatre again. After a 16 month break, I’ve taken a role in the Shakespeare play, Measure For Measure. Now I thought I knew every Shakespeare play written.  Well knew may be a little strong but at least I thought I was aware of them all.  But I never heard of this one before.

I would have to say that more than half of the roles I have played in the past 6 years I never auditioned for and this one is the same.  A theatre friend of mine had already cast the show but the guy playing Pompey had a conflict for one of the dates and never said anything until after he was cast. I was asked to fill in and I agreed.  The director then told the other guy he would have to share the role with me and the other guy quit.  Yes, local theatre is chock full of divas.

The problem with doing Shakespeare is, well, that it’s Shakespeare.  The dialect can be very hard to follow and, don’t hate me for saying this, it can be quit boring.  Even with top notch performances, it is hard to get people to come to a Shakespeare show.  But I am excited about this one.

We are doing the show with a 1930’s/40’s gangster theme.  My character is being played like a gangster to the hilt.  He also talks with a gangster, new york/bronx voice, sort of like Joe Pesce in My Brother Vinnie.  It’s a voice I can do fairly well but it’s kind of hard using that voice with Shakespeare’s words.  But it’s very funny.

I promise not to let my blog suffer but I will have to devote some time to learning my lines and attending rehearsals.  The show opens the weekend of Valentine’s Day so we only have two months to get the show together.  And I am going to Orlando on business right before our tech week in February. That means I will be a crazy man in early February.  And hopefully, I’ll have some fun posts to write about my rehearsals and preparing for the show.  And pictures, too.


30 thoughts on “Shakespeare, I Thought I Knew Ye

  1. Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    Hi! I came over from SITS, and have to say that I LOVE going to Shakespeare plays!! Here’s hoping that all goes well for you with rehearsals (and all of the divas get a reality check :)!! Sounds like it’ll be a great performance!

  2. jewelstreet says:

    Good luck, Preston! I love Shakespeare. I’ve never heard of this one either though there are a few “lost” plays like Titus Andronicus. I did a bit out of that one for a Shakespeare competition.

    Wish I could go see it because it sounds neat.

  3. Preston says:

    Erin, Nick and Merrick – Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    Jewelstreet – Thanks! I’ve never heard of Titus Andronicus. I’m so out of it. LOL But this should be fun with the gangster theme.

  4. mongoliangirl says:

    Pompey! I looooove that character. And kind of feel sorry for him sometimes having to put up with Mistress Overdone.
    Have fun Preston! Sounds like a blast!

  5. Sticky (not too) says:

    Sounds like a wondeful time, congrats! I came by way of SITS, thought I had left a comment earlier, but evidently, I didn’t…oops.
    I love the early morning laughs from reading your blog (and your boss standing over you as you type…uh-oh, mine too – gotta go!)

  6. Preston says:

    Mongoliangirl – Wow, you really know the show. He’s being played as comic relief. It really should be a blast.

    Sticky – Welcome from SITS and I am glad to give you some early morning laughs. Fortunately, no one is hovering over me at the moment…

  7. Lidian says:

    That sounds fabulous and a lot of fun! I’m looking forward to hearing more about it. And I agree, even though (or because) I’ve read just about all of Shakespeare, a lot of his plays are pretty boring, yes indeed. He wrote some pretty good stuff too, of course! 🙂

  8. Ken @ Dad to Two says:

    I agree! That would be great to see a video of you doing Shakespeare with a Bronx accent. I am laughing already just thinking about it.

  9. AndreaLeigh says:

    Congrats! That sounds like such fun. I did drama in school but nothing since. I’d love to get invovled with a local production b/c it just sounds like such a good time. Have fun!

  10. Mystery Man says:

    Crazy man in early February? lol Aren’t you already crazy? lol j/k

    just had to give you a hard time, dude. Seriosuly, good luck with all that. sounds like you’re gonan be hella busy!

  11. Hammed says:

    Never heard of that play as well before. Wish I could see more plays in my city. Have seen one recently. It was awful.

    Well, bonne chance, Preston!

  12. Preston says:

    Mystery Man – You’ve only seen the tip of the crazy man ice burg. Just wait till February. You’ll be sorry. LOL

    Hammed – I’ve seen plenty of awful local theatre but I’ve also seen some very very good local theatre too. It’s the nature of the beast, I guess.

    Trent – Thanks for stopping by. I absolutely love John Varvatos cologne–I just wish I could afford it.

  13. Ali says:

    I’m sitting here drinking peppermint hot chocolate from a Shakespeare mug! I love Shakespeare–Richard III is my absolute favorite! NOW is the winter of my discontent…

  14. Preston says:

    Ali – Are you going to share some of that hot chocolate? Sounds yummy. With beverages like that, it should be the winter of your contentment. (Yea, that’s a really poor joke, I know.)

  15. Whitney says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. And you right, I didn’t really expect a guy to read this. But seriously, leg hair is very different than leg FUR. Just ask the Missing Link or as he likes to be called Big Footies.

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