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Lost Nation Theater presents Shakespeare on the State House Steps
September 14, 2020
Lost Nation Theater, is back on-stage – outdoors & physically distanced, but LIVE - with A Midsommer Nights Dreame..
One show only! Sunday, September 20th on the Vermont State House steps, downtown Montpelier.
“The course of true love never did run smooth” (Act 1, sc 1)
And that makes for fun for the whole family!
The Bard is Back at Lost Nation Theater this Fall with Shakespeare’s classic, beloved and hilarious comedy of lost lovers, magical fairies and crude mechanicals – A Midsommer Nights Dreame with a talented cast of 18 actor- musicians coming together from all across Vermont (from Brattleboro to Burlington).
A Midsommer Nights Dreame takes the stage – or rather the Steps of the State House in an active and abridged staged-reading, using First Folio “cue scripts” (as they did in Shakespeare’s day). Ann Harvey (founder of Lost Nation Theater’s Fall Foliage Shakespeare, and formerly of NYC’s prestigious Riverside Shakespeare) is once again at the helm, directing this Shakespeare comedy - one of her all-time favorites - on the State House Steps!
LNT is over the moon that its first Live theatre production in front of a live audience since February will be Shakespeare directed by Harvey - as 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the start of the company’s Fall Foliage Shakespeare tradition. That means we also return to the First Folio script. (So no, LNT isn’t spelling the show title wrong, that’s how Shakespeare wrote it!)
Harvey explains the benefits of using the first folio this way:
“It is the closest thing we have to the way Shakespeare himself wrote his plays down. He was writing so that an actor, with no rehearsal, blind drunk and reading by candlelight would know what to do!
These scripts, with original spellings and punctuations are chock full of refreshing acting clues."
(Back in the day, acting troupes would perform up to 26 different plays in a month, so they didn’t really rehearse and actors would perform for audiences reading from their cue scripts – Cue Scripts are like individual rolled up teleprompters; which is how we think the term “role” came to be.)
The cast is comprised of longtime LNT collaborators and Shakespeare specialists, those who haven’t been able to join us for decades, those who were supposed to make their LNT debuts this summer, and those brand new to the company including:
G Richard Ames, Sorsha Anderson, Kim Allen Bent, Dawn Ellis, Erin Galligan Baldwin, Jessica Goodlin, Lisa Jablow, Maren Langdon Spillane, Maura O'Brien, Rachel Olsen Natvig, William Pelton, Mark S Roberts, Jennifer Sassaman, Dominic Spillane, Kim Ward, Carolyn Wesley, and Margo Whitcomb.
Original music is written by Kathleen Keenan and performed by fiddler Susan Reid.
Bennett Shapiro of Mad Tech Sound, assisted by Andrew Vachon, is providing amplification to ensure all are heard by the audience.
Speaking of the audience, Lost Nation Theater’s founder Kim Bent says:
“Everyone should see at least one Shakespeare play performed outside with the sun as the only illumination, fully exposed to whatever random distractions might occur. It's the only way to fully appreciate how compelling Shakespeare can be. You can't help but be drawn into the action, and the music of the language is captivating. Inevitably, you find yourself paying rapt attention, not wanting to miss a beat!”
Audience are asked to bring their own cushions – seating will be on the steps (or chairs for limited side lawn use); to adhere to social distancing guidelines, to wear a mask at all times and be prepared to provide contact info for contact tracing use only. The performers will be in masks or wearing face shields, staying distanced, and remaining at least 10 feet from the audience.
Safety is being taken very seriously. The Covid-19 pandemic has kept LNT’s home within Montpelier City Hall closed, and therefore LNT closed. We are so grateful to all the performers, production team and technicians for volunteering their time & talents to make this Outdoor LIVE performance possible!
Special thanks to U-32 and Open Door Theatre for their assistance.
Join Us! Just 1 show! 2pm Sunday September 20. 80 minutes, no intermission. It’s Free! (donations gratefully accepted).
"Lord What Fools These Mortals Be!" – William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame