I've been quite busy lately with the Redlands Shakespeare Festival. RSF is doing 12th Night (I play Sir Toby), Macbeth (Porter and Doctor) and Antony and Cleopatra (Lepidus and Proculeius). It's been a lot of work for almost three months, and it is just about over.
Antony and Cleopatra, a big, sprawling piece, is a tough play to do. I joke that it's the tragedy of a man who is PW'd. A more polite way to put it is John Dryden's title of his version of the story, All For Love. I noticed during one performance that the laughter was coming from the women in the audience; they saw the humor in the situation, whereas the men sat in silent horror as Antony loses his edge, his objectivity, his judgment in war and finally his life because he is blinded by his love of a woman.
I just got cast as Prospero in The Tempest at the San Jacinto Shakespeare Festival (web site doesn't seem to be up, so I can't give you a link). It's a bit of a drive, but it will be worth it to play one of those parts middle aged men most long to play. Prospero has almost 700 lines. Some of the poetry is stunning. The play seems a bit static; not much of a plot. As an actor I must find the urgency and the conflict or else I might end up just orating poetry -- and that's boring. What threatens Prospero? Does he fear anything outside him? Does he fear the sorcery in his soul? What is he fighting for? These are the kind of things I'm wondering about the character.
This blog really suffered in the last month as I was too busy with acting to dedicate much time to it. Doing three plays and working full time is exhausting.
I hope to have more time in the rest of the year to write plays.