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Track and field Shakespeare

Tonight husband and I are going to an event that we have been attending for the past few years. We are going to a performance by the New York Classical Theater. 

They are doing Twelfth Night.

This group performs for free in Central Park-- over a lot of park. Each scene, (or every ten minutes,or so,) the cast crew and audience has to get up and sprint, walk, limp, whatever to a  new area of grass and trees, and then we  sit down wherever we can and the play commences.

The audience is a mixed age group, lots of kids, older people, and lots of New Yorkers who want to have a night out for no money. Some people bring deck chairs, but it is not wise-- you end up having to carry them.

If you were sitting in the front you may find yourself in the back if you are not fast enough. Costumed cast members will run alongside you-- breaking character enough to giggle and tell you to hurry. They do wait until everyone is sitting before they begin. You do end up sort of dirty and scratched  at the end though.

They seem to think that the running will help you enjoy the play. As far as I can tell it works. We have seen them do Lear and Macbeth. They also have a thing for Moliere. (Have not sen any of that.) Macbeth, in particular was spooky in the darkening park, under the trees. I was quite spooked by the time things got stabby.

I think it will be just me and the husband tonight. We may go later in the year as a group. they will perform all summer and into the fall. They do ask for donations at the end, and we try to do that. The first year here we could not, and daughter just went up and thanked them instead. They were so sweet.

Anyway, I am really excited.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
lemurling
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
That sounds super fun! I bet the exercise does help make the play better both because the efforts makes people more attached to the outcome, and also the endorphins generated by the rushing around intensifies the emotions from watching the play. Very clever.
eglantine_br
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I had not thought of that, but I am sure you are right. I know that I remember it more vividly than I would a regular stage play. (And those are rare events for me too.)

I have not seen them do a comedy, but I think this method is going to be perfect for it.
donnaimmaculata
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
The running-to-new-locations is a great idea and sounds like a lot of fun. I've got the image in my head of the melancholy Danish prince and his family, foes and assorted ghosts scurrying through the undergrowth, the ladies hitching up their skirts as they run.
eglantine_br
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
That is about right. When they did Macbeth there were a whole lot of men in kilts, (not the little frothy skirt kind, but the more like a giant blanket pinned here and there kind,) running and leaping and generally showing off legs. And swords-- there were big swords.
bauhiniakapok
Sep. 27th, 2016 04:09 am (UTC)
Oooh, that sounds lovely. When are you going to write Archie into a kilt? Think of his knees, his lovely sturdy knees...
esmerelda_t
Jun. 17th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Glasgow does something similar in the summer, Bard in the Botanics only you stay in the same place and the only exercise is if you need to wrestle some rough Glasgow Squirrels who want your snacks!

Macbeth amongst trees at dusk does indeed sound wonderfully creepy!
anteros_lmc
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
Bard in the Botanics is great fun! I saw them do a brilliant version of The Tempest years ago.

the only exercise is if you need to wrestle some rough Glasgow Squirrels who want your snacks!
Although to be fair, we also have midgies to contend with!
eglantine_br
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
I am sure there will be mosquitoes tonight. I am hoping that they will eat other people and not me.

There are squirrels in Central Park of course. But i expect they will stay clear of declaiming rampaging humans.
anteros_lmc
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC)
Heh, as soon as I posted that comment I thought "bet they have mosquitoes in Central Park." Nasty things. I hope they don't bite you!
bauhiniakapok
Sep. 27th, 2016 04:15 am (UTC)
Are Glasgow squirrels red or grey? My cousin in England called grey squirrels "tree rats" and heartily wished them all back to the Americas. Our revenge for the introduction of house sparrows, I guess. But just like sparrows, they are cute when in their native habitat! I miss squirrels. We don't seem to have any around here. I think there must be some squirrely creatures native to Southeast China, but I never see any. Maybe there are too many people here for them. Or maybe the cobras and kraits ate them all up.
anteros_lmc
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Sounds great! The running and giggling sounds like lots of fun, though perhaps more appropriate for Molière than King Lear :} Hope you have a great time tonight.

Macbeth, in particular was spooky in the darkening park, under the trees. I was quite spooked by the time things got stabby.
Very atmospheric. Talk about Birnam wood coming to Dunsinane!
eglantine_br
Jun. 17th, 2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
Oh it was really creepy. Macbeth was better. Lear was ok, especially when he was wandering around with the fool. But Macbeth felt so real... it made my skin crawl.

As for the mosquitoes, I think they will bite Mike and not me. He is a skinny guy, they don't have to drive noses in so far.
anteros_lmc
Jun. 17th, 2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
But Macbeth felt so real... it made my skin crawl.
Macbeth can be absolutely terrifying if it's well produced.

As for the mosquitoes, I think they will bite Mike and not me.
I had an ex-partner who never used to get bitten by mosquitos while I would get eaten alive by the little buggers. Used to drive me up mad!
katriona_s
Jun. 18th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
It sounds wonderful. Seems smart, sophisticated, enjoyable and very New York. It must be a great opportunity for children to see what the live performance is for the first time.
eglantine_br
Jun. 18th, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
So many things in the city cost a lot. But there are also many many things to do for almost nothing. You just have to look for them. I think New Yorkers are very willing to dive into things and have fun. I really like that about living here.
ba1126
Jun. 24th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
This sounds very cool! We have free performances on Boston Common in the Summer, but without the running. People bring their kids and picnic suppers. Even if it's not a play of interest to kids, the kids like the atmosphere and often 'bed down' mid-show so Mom and Dad get a break!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )