Prelude

Welcome to the site for The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park.

Please refer to the posting "Introduction" below
and examine the end of the page for maps
and details about special events,
such as the parade
or other events
that may occur remotely
from the stage
at the Park.

Cinema Under the Stars is left at the top of the page because the films, which are intended to be shown on alternating weekends, require frequent updating.

The show-times are approximate
because of the changing sunset time and go up when it is dark enough.

You are advised to arrive early to choose a good spot in the field. We have concession items available and in the future may have blankets available for rental.

Be sure to bring insect repellent, although we do use citronella to cut back on mosquitoes, you will need to protect yourself.

Refer to the IMS Virtual Studio for a countdown to the current film showing.

In the Event of Rain;

Live Performances at the stage are canceled if the sky is not clear and the ground dry by 1:00 p.m. with no forecast of rain for the remainder of the day.

For Cinema Under the Stars the ground must be dry by 5:00 p.m. and no forecast for rain that evening.

Unless otherwise specified there is no rain date.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Work on the Stage

 .....................................
  • We are continuing to maintain and enhance the stage and the Meadow Amphitheater.   This column in the Shakespearean Journal will focus on the work to be done and other related items.
  • I expect to put a slide show here which will show you the progress of the stage from concept to form.  So look for that to appear in the future.
    • We determined to paint the backdrops so that the stage looks better for the 5th of July performances this year. Since we have decided to have performances after the parade, we want to have the best face we can for the folks that decide to come over to the barbecue and watch some Shakespearean stuff going on.
    • So, we are most thankful to Mike and Cindy Lally of Southampton for getting excited about what we are doing and coming over to help with the painting.  Here are some photographs of what we were doing over the Memorial Day weekend.


    Here's the stage with the curtains installed.  The burlap represents "inside looking out". We need to solve the wrinkle problem with the side curtains. I think they need to be stored "hung up", but our storage space in the barn at the Park may be too damp for that.  Below you can see the drill side of the drops, where we are painting them to look like stone.


    We are going to put facing up at about knee height along the backdrop frame.  If you imagine a facing that matches the facing on the front of the stage running across the back, you would not be able to see Mike and Cindy's legs from about the knee down.  I think that will improve the overall look of the stage when the curtains are up.


     It's a good thing we suddenly thought to take a few snapshots


    It's hard to see, but the stone Cindy is drawing looks great! I can't wait until it's painted.  The whole back-drop will look like a castle... perfect for some to the historical pieces that the Bard wrote.

    • We want to offer a big thanks to MAB Paints in Southampton for contributing the paint for this project. They have been so very inspiring by being excited with what we are doing.  They also provided the paint for the stone surface on the stage which everyone seems to be very impressed with.  It's great to see local artists coming together to do this and MAB has been instrumental in making that happen.
    • We also are going to paint a number of scenic backdrops which we can use for our programs and anyone else who would like to come over to help is most welcomed.  It's a lot of fun to think that we are creating something of value for our community and we get to meet people who also live nearby and have a love for expressing themselves in art and theatre. So if you care to, please join us in our efforts.

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    The Southampton Days Parade


    The theme for this years parade is 

    "Robin Hood"

    Get your costumes together and joins us for a fun day.


    We have more images and video but they are not immediate available, Keep watch.

    The Parade in Southampton takes place on the July 4th weekend.  It is a very large parade and stands as the best possible publicity event for The Shakespearean of Tamanend Park.  This year represents the third year that we are gathering to walk in the parade.  Last year we had 15 people walking in the parade and the theme was "The Earl of Southampton presents Queen Elizabeth"  it was a lot of fun and we walked the two mile route, ending at the stage with a barbecue and some script-in-hand readings from "Much Ado About Nothing".  As it turned out, we won first place in the neighborhood division for our efforts.

    The Queen and her Lady in Waiting

      We did not invite the parade watchers to a performance after the parade, because it was uncertain how the presence of the carnival would effect the stage area within the park.  As it turned out, we could not even hear the carnival and performances would have been perfect for the day.  So this year we are going to make an attempt at performing for the public.  You will see below the references to "Midsummer" a new musical by Michael Dutka.  We will be presenting Act I Scene I from this new musical after the parade this year and we are working to invite other performers to make a presentation at that time.

    Our first gathering at the 2008 parade

        If you are an Elizabethan or Renaissance performer, you are welcome to join us in the parade, and to present whatever material you may like onstage during or after the barbecue.  We will have script in hand readings for anyone who would like to try their hand at reading Shakespeare.

        This year, the parade will be taking place on July 5th followed in the evening by the fireworks.  So that eliminates a film showing for that night.  However, we will be showing Errol Flynn in Robin Hood" on Saturday night the 3rd of July.

       The barbecue is open to anyone who attends the "after-the-parade-gathering" and and this year we expect the barbecue to be operated by a food service vendor who will charge for the food.  Those persons who walk in the parade, helping to hand out flyers and entertain the audience and thespians who are performing onstage, will receive a voucher for their complimentary food. 

      We hope that the barbecue can become a fund raising event to help us with future productions at The Meadow Amphitheatre and to help us to enhance and grow the efforts with "Shakespeare in the Park". There is much to do with all of this and your assistance would be most appreciated.

      Keep an eye out here for more details as we get closer to the event dates.  An effort is being made right now to publish "The Shakespearean Journal" and to distribute it to the public.

       If you care to be a sponsor of this event by purchasing advertising in The Journal or contributing in another way, please contact Arthur Greisiger at imagemindag@verizon.net or call 215-322-1566 and leave a message.

    This is a hoot, you'd think I never left Southampton.  Here's a shot of me as an Indian Chief in the Southampton Independence Day Parade from 1962. That's when we were in Indian Guides.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    A Mid-summer's Night Dream, a new opera by Michael Dutka


    The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park  
    will host an offering from  
    "Midsummer"
    a new American opera by local composer, Michael Dutka
    based on Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'

    at The Meadow Amphitheatre in Tamanend Park 
    1255 Second Street Pike, Southampton, PA
    Following the Southampton Days Parade
    on July 5th 2010

    Performance time will be posted when other parts of the program are confirmed

    Act I, Scene 1, in which the forbidden lovers plot to flee Athens and marry in secret, will be performed by a cast of young opera singers, including Elizabeth Zell as Hermia, Joshua Holmes as Lysander and Alyssa Lehman as Helena. The Shakespearean's own Arthur Greisiger will join in the role of Egeus.

    Hail, hail, the gang's all here.

    Cast list as follows

    (In Order of Appearance):

    Hippolyta          Meegan Jesse
    Theseus           Mike Dutka
    Egeus               Arthur Greisiger (dialog only)
    Demetrius         Rich Lehman (dialog only/tent. - Alyssa, please advise)
    Lysander          Joshua Holmes
    Hermia              Elizabeth Zell
    Helena              Alyssa Staron


    We will be performing
    Act I, Scene 1 of Midsummer 
    on Monday, July 5 
    (the day off of the July 4th Weekend) 
    (for directions, click above or paste in the link -
    http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Tamanend+Park&sll=40.169954,-74.870195&sspn=0.025447,0.055876&layer=&ie=UTF8&z=14&ll=40.180841,-75.041943&spn=0.025443,0.055876&om=1)


    By way of introduction, Arthur Greisiger is the founder and Artistic Director of
    the Shakespearean of Tamanend Park, 
    and overall coordinator of the events of that day.

    Information about Arthur and the Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park is available at http://imagemindag.blogspot.com/2010/04/shakesspeareans-of-tamanend-park.html. 


    NOTES FROM MIKE;
    Arthur, thanks for this opportunity to perform in your theater,
    and please advise of any additional details, corrections, etc.

    6/7/10

    Hi, folks.

    Here, at long last, is the rehearsal schedule for our July 5th Midsummer Scene. Please let me know of any problems, and I'll be back in touch with a complete cast/contact list.

    I have the singers' CD's on my 'to-do' list, and by June 21 I should have complete notebooks of the complete scene, with all music and dialog.

    Folks, many thanks for your participation in this - based on how well the first music rehearsal went, it should be an easy show, and a really fun day for everyone.

    Best,
         Mike

    Rehearsals (contact Mike for further details)

    6/9     6:30 pm      Alyssa's house  (HL, HR, LY)  Music Rehearsal
    6/16   6:30 pm      Alyssa's house  (HL, HR, LY)  Music Rehearsal
    6/21   6:30 pm      Alyssa's house   ALL  exp Stephanie  1st read thru/blocking
    6/24   6:30 pm      Alyssa's house   ALL  exp Stephanie  1st run thru/blocking

    6/28    6:30 - 8:30 pm   Tamanend Park     ALL ex. Steph. 1st run-thru on stage
    7/1      6:30 - 8:30 pm   Tamanend Park     All  1st run thru w/accomp.
    7/3      9 am - 11 am      Tamanend Park     All   Dress Rehearsal

    7/5     1 pm - 4 pm        Tamanend Park     Show Time!


    Any cast members able and willing to walk in the parade will be most appreciated.  
    It goes a long way to publicizing the performances and the barbecue 
    and bringing in our audience by personally inviting them.  
    AG


    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Rachel's Corner


    Welcome Rachel...

    AKA R.H. Keys and Odessa, a Shakespearean from the Allentown area who  has kindly consented to become a regular contributor to The Shakespearean Journal. You will find her, submissions as with other writers material, posted in The Shakespearean Journal verbatim.

    She has provided us with this review of the recent PBS broadcast of The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet.  This is in support of our upcoming "Hamlet Festival" which will be taking place at the end of the Summer in conjunction with the  Southampton Free Library. 

    We will be showing 
    Zefferelli's Hamlet 
    starring Mel Gibson 
    on June 12th,2010 with  
    Cinema Under the Stars




    RSC’s Hamlet 2010, a review by Rachel

    Director Gregory Doran and the cast did explore many linguistical nuances in ways I’ve never seen in a film or stage production of Hamlet before. While some aspects of the production may have lost a certain amount impact when moving from the stage to film, Doran attempted to use the film medium to its fullest being appropriately subtle with many portions of it, not trying to replicate or simply film a theatrical performance.

    The use of cameras in the film even beyond the paranoia inducing surveillance cameras around the castle, but also in Hamlet’s own attempt to record events and through an introspective video diary style conversation during some moments of soliloquy, are unique. Visually, he explored images of mirrors and then their shattering throughout the play as various characters experience cracks in their sanity or perception of identity- reflecting the distortion that fills the play.

    David Tennant’s Hamlet starts out as a depressed, overgrown schoolboy, more full of tears than fire. I think that it was an effective approach, he is already in a contemplative and melancholic place in the first moments of the play. Once bent on revenge he gains energy and his “antic disposition” seems less like an act and more like a true affliction of his own unraveling.

    The castle of Elsinore is a contemporary setting with glassy floors, surveillance cameras and two way mirrors. Hamlet is playing a role, aware that he is seldom unwatched. Before the “O what a rogue and peasant slave am I!” speech he literally tears a camera off the wall and then utters, “Now I am alone.” Tennant’s “Get thee to a nunnery” scene is charged with more than just Hamlet’s play acting, but with true hurt and feelings of betrayal.

    Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius is at times mildly comical with his pontification, seeming to be a man who often repeats his little words of wisdom- to the point where other characters are mildly irritated and very familiar with nearly every lengthy phrase that escapes his lips. Sam Alexander and Tom Davey play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern play Hamlet’s school friend, and quite certainly, partners in debauchery. Patrick Stewart brings an understatement to Claudius, not playing him as a great villain, and showing believable affection for Gertrude as well as guilt over his brother’s murder. From the first time we see him, it is also easy to note that he and Hamlet have never gotten along. He also plays the Ghost.

    The first appearance of the Ghost is only shown by the reaction of Horatio and the guards, my hope was that he wouldn’t be revealed until the meeting with Hamlet late in the first Unfortunately he was shown later in that scene to limited impact in my opinion Mariah Gale, as Ophelia was very curious. She starts out a little playful and with a sense of independence, a trait I’ve never seen in Ophelia. As the play continues, that small stubbornness in her proves to be more like childish bravado as she crumbles inside. Though, I wish she had shown more reaction to the “Get thee to a nunnery” scene when next she sees Hamlet.  At the play-within-the-play, she hardly registers anything being wrong until Hamlet starts interrupting the performance and acting out. She was very subtle, sometimes too much so, but it did create a bold contrast to her mad scenes.

    The infamous closet scene with Gertrude was where the play truly picks up momentum. Tennant and Penny Downie gave the scene incredible intensity without going in the uncomfortable and largely unwarranted incestuous direction that so many production go in thanks to Freud and Lawrence Olivier.
    Right up until the end Tennant is able to find the humor Shakespeare wrote for the prince. His cutting turn of phrase and quick mind wasn’t abandoned or rushed over in anxious anticipation for the imminent duel.

    Though not perfect, I feel it topped the Mel Gibson Hamlet and could be a great tool for studying the play in an academic setting, though enjoyable for pleasure watching as well.


    The Witches of Macbeth

    Mysterious figures lurk under the cloak of darkness in a damp Scottish forest. The Witches of Macbeth have crept along the edges of audiences’ and readers’ imaginations for hundreds of years. The ambiguity of the creatures has led to a plethora of interpretations by directors and scholars alike. Still, their relationship to the character of Macbeth is usually interpreted in one of three ways: as fate, as a manifestation of his insanity, or the pressures of society. What Shakespeare originally intended them to be is unknown, his vagueness allows them to be everything and nothing all at once, representing all that may contribute to a man’s downfall.

    Can a man choose the path he takes? The question has been touched on by writers and philosophers nearly since time began. So is Macbeth only a link within a greater chain of destiny? The Witches could be manipulators, forwarding their own agenda. Their plotting, conjuring, and prophesying may all be to press their will upon the impressionable mortal. They send Macbeth on his ill-fated journey which disorders the kingdom into an unnatural, perverse state. By the end of his journey everything foretold has been fulfilled to the letter. The crowning of Malcolm in the play’s finale leaves the question: was that their intention all along; to make Malcolm a great king the people will follow? It is a haunting echo of “Hail, king of Scotland,” that sings out in the final moments of the play (Act 5, Scene 8). Within two hours the audience has seen three men hold that title.

    As Macbeth’s kingdom unravels, so does his sanity. He and Banquo return, exhausted by the traumas of war. In this precarious state they see a vision which could be taken as a hallucination. Macbeth’s own wife informs us of how weak he is mentally. At one point she refers to him as “Infirm of purpose,” (Act 2, Scene 1). When Macbeth’s desperation increases and his behavior becomes more erratic, the Witches occur to him again. Every appearance is while he is in a weakened state. The audience knows Macbeth has the ability to see images that others cannot, such as when he imagines the ghost of Banquo haunting him. Modern adaptations of the piece will even show the encounters with the Witches as a drug induced dream-like state Macbeth enters.

    Greed, arrogance, ambition; all forces that might bring someone to usurp a throne. These internal forces as well as external pressures of expectations and family press someone in Macbeth’s situation from all sides. The Witches may represent the pressure he feels, society’s expectations of what he must do as a man. He is plagued by fears and insecurity about his manhood and ability to produce an heir. He feels the need to prove himself, especially to his wife. These feelings may be the little Witch whispering in his ear and setting him on his journey.

    The Witches are creatures of darkness. Joseph Campbell says that there are certain archetypal characters a hero may meet on his journey, one them is a character of shadow, representing the darker side of human nature. Whether they are the hands orchestrating fate,  a manifestation of Macbeth’s insanity, or the pressures of society, the Witches originate in a place of hidden desire, fear, and primal tendencies.

     For More information:


    Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human by Harold Bloom
    Michigan State University Online 

    “Interpretations of Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey” https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/pdf/JosephCampbellPathHero.pdf

    RSC’s Macbeth 1978 on DVD directed by Trevor Nunn
    Macbeth 2007 on DVD directed by Geoffrey Wright  (note content)



    R.H. Keys: Is a writer, director, and actor currently attending Cedar Crest College. As an actor she enjoys in historical reenactment and as a writer is currently working on her first novel. Recently she directed Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House. When she has time she enjoys PBS Programming, reading, film, hats, Harold Bloom, Renaissance Faires, and music. Sometimes she works under other names.
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