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.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gathering Times at the stage

 ***
All live performance events at 
The Meadow Amphitheatre
in Tamanend Park, 
both work sessions and performance times,
unless otherwise noted,
take place between
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
on Saturdays & Sundays
***

In the instance of an
Impromptu Performance
such as is expected to be the case
this weekend
October 2nd & 3rd
the gathering time begins at 2:00 p.m.
with a 
performance
taking place at 3:00 p.m.

***
Because of the Impromptu nature of the Performance;

Call is 1:00 p.m. for performers* to sign-in
giving time for rehearsal.

*Those who have not previously performed  on
The Meadow Amphitheatre stage
or
have not committed to being in
the offered performance,
will not be guaranteed stage-time
in the performance, if they arrive after 2:00 p,m.

Performers are welcome to arrive and use the stage at any time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: October Performances

***
The October Performance Schedule
at Tamanend Park's
Meadow Amphitheatre
***
Since the first weekend October has been identified as a Performance Weekend,  the stage will be set for a rather impromptu performances for both days this weekend in Tamanend Park.
 ***
Actors and musicians have been encouraged for the past year to prepare material for this time-slot and so the stage will be prepared in expectation that some people will like to perform.
 ***
Although no specific program has been prepared this year, due in large part to the work of building "Cinema Under the Stars"... remaining consistent in creating this Fall time-slot is most important.  With the goal of creating "Autumn Leaves : Performance Festival"  we offer the stage freely to those who would like to perform.
***
The invitation is extended to local performance groups who may like to present a sampling of the work they are doing and to promote their shows, as well as individual actors,  musicians & singers who are able and willing to walk-the-boards.
 ***
"Spontaneous Shakespeare" & "Scenes & Music" are the standard programs for The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park and will be the guideposts for presenting. However, other carefully planned presentations are welcomed.
***
We strive to maintain some degree of order & professionalism, so improvisational, unscripted performances are encouraged only in an environmental setting surrounding the stage.  We want to reserve the stage for presentations that are clearly theatrical and not chaotic.
***
The objective has been to encourage area actors, musicians, singers and others, to take advantage of the stage in Tamanend Park...  and for people who want this activity to remain an option to them and the community,  to assist in making this and other events at the stage, a reality, by either performing, helping to manage the activities, or observing as an audience member.
***
Contributions are accepted for all activities at The Meadow Amphitheatre.  which are presented free to the public.

Weekend Performances before the film

I just realized that we have the stage set every other weekend for the "Cinema Under the Stars", so... if anyone want the opportunity to perform before the film, we do that every other week. Actors & musicians, acoustic music only and we can do "Spontaneous Shakespeare" or any other type of live entertainment... comedians, jugglers, clowns, dog & pony acts... a regular vaudeville scenario! Let me know if you are interested. AG

Autumn Leaves: Performance Festival

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The Fall performance time-slot, coined "Autumn Leaves Performance Festival"  in anticipation of future growth, has been identified as the last weekend in September and the First Weekend in October. Depending on the weather it may be appropriate to move it forward to eliminate the September dates.  The reason being that other events are occurring in close proximity.  The theory was that it would be easy to remember the change from September to October as the time for performances.  Also the shift to Halloween occurs in October so that needs to come into consideration.

I received a number of inquiries about the performance schedule for this fall, some from performers and some from audience. I had to report that a program this fall was not promoted. Simply because I have not received commitments from the performers. I explored presentation of six different programs for this fall time-slot and was unable to obtain commitments from the performers and/or performance groups. Had half of these groups been willing to commit to the dates, then we would have had a nice program.

I did convey that I would promote a performance for the upcoming weekend if I received commitments, but so far none have arrived. (it is now Tuesday) I will however be setting the stage this weekend in the event that performers & audience do arrive prepared to present and observe.  At the least I will give a Flute concert and read some lines myself.  Or if need be we will work on the sets. If we are fortunate, others will show up. and we will present.

I have to say that economics play a huge role in this, for if I had been able to raise sufficient funds, then we would have had a definite program of some sort to promote, by paying for the performers.  But this cannot happen without sufficient sponsorship, because although some people do contribute when asked to, during the performances, most people do not contribute.  That is clear from the income of "Cinema Under the Stars" as well as other performances that have taken place this year.  So fund-raising has to be increased, if next year is to prove fruitful in terms of presentations.

This year for the September dates;

 Saturday, Sept 25th we showed Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" at the Southampton Library attendance was less than satisfactory. Considerably less than satisfactory.  Clearly, a film showing on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the fall is not a good idea. However, the space in the Southampton Community Room is well suited for film presentations, and the Library does do this every Friday Night, so I recommend attending a film showing there, if you would like to have a fun night at the movies.  We show a different type of film with "Cinema Under the Stars" outside in Tamanend Park every two weeks. I am striving for the cinema at the Park to be centered around theatre oriented films.  We are also thinking about a film festival, so keep an eye out for that.

Sunday Sept 26th was eliminated because, luckily (for me) it rained, but frankly I was too tired to push forward with it and did not have enough of a program planned.  The work on building "Cinema Under the Stars" had me focused more on succeeding with a full season of films than on planning a performance for the fall. I was counting on more actors & musicians to step up to the plate.

Saturday October 2nd & 3rd will have the stage set in the morning with anticipation that performers will be available. This will be the litmus test as to whether or not performers will show up on their own for a performance date. I rather doubt it, because I have not seen people willing to come to the Saturday & Sunday work sessions every weekend. Many people have come by the stage, some actors or aspiring actors, but few have come prepared to run lines and get serious about acting. So I have my doubts about performers with prepared material.  We will do "Spontaneous Shakespeare" as that is the easiest emergency performance program.  In terms of music, there are a few performers who can respond to the moment and if we are lucky they will be in attendance. If you are one of those performers come over Saturday or Sunday ready to rock, whether we have an audience or not it's a test of what we as performers can do together.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kenneth Branagh's " Hamlet"


Here is a link to 
information about the showing at 
The Southampton Library 
on 
Saturday Afternoon
the 25th of September
 1- 5 pm

" Hamlet "

"Spontaneous Shakespeare"
from 12 - 1 pm
for those who come early.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Performance Review

 ***
presented on July 5th after 
the Southampton Days Parade

to
"Midsummer"
by 
Michael Dutka

Photos by Mike Lally



This is not a critical review of the performance of "Midsummer",  rather it is an analysis of how the overall presentation at the stage went.

Food Services;

First, let me apologize to our audience for the fact that the food service vendor Fat Jack's did not show up.  This is the second time that has happened with them and it will be the last.  Not only did this disappoint the participants in the parade, who were intended to have a voucher to feed them after the parade, but also a number of people took the time and trouble to come back to the stage only to find that there was no food service and so they left. We lost at least half our audience because there was no food for them to picnic with.  In addition, our presentation schedule was effected and a lot of money was spent promoting the event with their name on the flyers and in the papers.  Thumbs down to Fat Jack's.

I will be working harder for us to secure the ability to provide this service using a dependable vendor . While I was working to gather sponsorship,  other food services in Southampton have expressed a desire to participate in what we are doing.  So, I will be designing a competitive program for the right to provide these services, one which will involve a written contract and a fee which will assure that the food service vendor shows up. Otherwise we will provide the food services ourselves.

We will also be certain to include vegetarian menu items, as a number of people do not choose to eat meat.

Performance times;

The performances at the stage were set for 1-5 pm and this rather arbitrary time reference was contingent upon the BBQ being available for people to picnic while sufficient audience gathered.  Obviously without the food services, this plan faltered completely

The other factor, which I thought might occur, but was uncertain how severe it might be, was the intensity of the sun in the afternoon.  It was brutally hot onstage. A few of the performers were quite unhappy about that. So this leads me to say that the performances during the summer months should take place no sooner than 4:00 pm.  At this time of day the field is entirely in shade and the stage is in sunlight, but only for another half an hour to forty-five minutes and the sun is less intense.



Having the field in sunlight, few people chose to sit in the sun and so the audience ends up placed farther away from the stage, making it more difficult to hear and making the performance less intimate.  So this is an issue that needs to be addressed.


Introductions;

As it turns out, I am the one who did the introductions onstage this time around.  I don't think this is the best thing to be doing.  I was exhausted from the parade and I tend to ramble on too long discussing issues of the developing programs and sponsorship.  I think we need to have a very definite plan for the preludes to the shows, which eliminate too much talk on stage and we need an MC who is not me, especially if I am going to perform in the show.



Technical issues;

I expect to be creating a manual which outlines the procedures we need to implement to set-up and operate performances in the Meadow Amphitheatre, because the details are too much for any one person to effectively manage.  That will be published both here and in the hard copy of The Shakespearean Journal.

From this last show it has become clear that we need a sound person who can be certain to play the interlude music and assure that the levels are set and left unaltered.  During this show, we had excellent interlude music, but it was not implemented, because it was on me to do it and I was simply too overwhelmed to make sure that it happened. It would have made for a more pleasant viewing experience if this music were used.

We also need a videographer to capture both the parade and the performances.

It is clear that the sound system cannot be backstage unless it is attended by a sound man.  I think we will be creating the ability for the control booth to be behind the concession stand and we have determined that we will wire the stage and bury the speaker lines.

We also need a house manager who can tend to the concessions stand, making sure the information is out, is there to answer questions and can tend to the beverages and snacks we will provide.  Also, details like the interlude music and tending to the audience's needs, as in blankets.

On that subject, I think we will rent blankets to people if they did not bring their own. We had talked about chairs, but blankets are easier.

Onstage Program;

If there is one thing that was blaring at me after briefly scanning the video-tape of the performance - it is that there was too much dead time onstage.  The programs need to be presented in such a way as to keep the pace up and that means that we need to have a stage manager who can see to that.

The concept for "Spontaneous Shakespeare" was not implemented well.  It is not possible to be so spontaneous when the audience is waiting to see the next bit.  That means that we need to plan out the scenes which will be read and we need a director who can oversee the onstage activities with this program.



Our fencing demonstrations went well and we are very appreciative of the folks who came over. Our swordsman was  'Bran ap Rees and his son' They presented a fascinating demonstration of fencing techniques and showed how it works in competition.  It was a wonderful addition to the program... Thank you Bran. I hope we can do more of this in the future.

The Audience;

Those folks who came over to the performances (and stayed) seemed to be very happy they did and were very enthusiastic about having this "Shakespeare in the Park" in the area. One comment, was that of surprise, that there was not a huge crowd there for this event. Another couple made the journey over from Morrisville just for the event.  I couldn't help myself and I had to give the gentleman a hug for doing so.  I think I surprised him, but I was so happy to hear that he came all the way over there just for our event.



There are things we need to do to make the experience more pleasant and more professional for the audience, but we took a casual approach to the staging and relating to the audience which seemed to work fine for the event.

"Midsummer";

Presenting this new Musical Opera in the park went well. It was the first try, so some things were not as together as they could have been, but overall it was pretty good.  If we are to continue with the show and present the next installment, then the performance times will be at a cooler time of the day and closer to evening.  We will refine out interludes between scenes so there is not dead space on the stage and we will need to fill-in with other planned scenes,  music, or other form of entertainment.  A later performance time will allow the audience to sit closer to the stage, which will help. 

The sound in the Amphitheatre is pretty good and the performers did a bang-up job of conveying their art.  I was backstage for much of it, so I was unable to properly analyze how it was conveyed to the audience.


Here's some thoughts from the composer/director;
Folks, just wanted to thank you all for all your hard work and tell you all how well you did yesterday. Sorry we didn't have a few more folks to enjoy the experience - their loss, but for me, it was a total delight to sit back in that little green room (grove), and listen to you all.

Thanks again and best,

Mike


Documenting the Performance with Video;

The video camera battery died somewhere into the performance, but thankfully it captured the entire performance and died just as we were exiting the stage.  I do know that I need to look at putting microphones in place, for the video cameras, and I have shotgun mics for that purpose.  Of course, the issue is feedback from the PA if those mics are to be used for vocal support, but just for the video that would not be an issue.

Summary;

All in all, I think we are on our way to developing a nice performance time slot after the parade.  I do think that by making the performance later in the day, it will be easier on the performers, allow more time to prepare  the presentation, and allow the parade goers to have more time to recover from a morning out in the sun.  I do not think we have to worry too much about competing forces with the carnival because the folks who come by to see us are more inclined toward this type of entertainment.  If we plan out event to coincide with folks leaving our show and going over to see the fireworks, then I think we will have hit on a good workable formula.

This being the first attempt to present on the Forth of July weekend, I think we all did an admirable job that everybody should be proud of.  Thank you all.  AG

Spontaneous Shakespeare


We will do some 
Spontaneous Shakespeare 
before the film showing on Saturday.  

Bring your Hamlet script if you have one, 
otherwise we'll have some to use.

Just a few scenes.

Nunc Licet Readings


Arthur Greisiger 
is conducting readings of his stage play 

"Nunc Licet"
a play about Emanuel Swedenborg

at the Tamanend Park Stage
The Meadow Amphitheatre
beginning this 
Sunday September 26th from 2-4 pm 
(the regular time for Shakespearean activity) 

Work will continue on Sunday afternoons 
with the goal of making a presentation
for the World Assembly in June of 2011.  

We need to have people willing to read 
and others who are willing to assist in planning 
and gathering resources for the Assembly presentation. 

The immediate goal is to present in Pendelton Hall
on the campus of Bryn Athyn College,

beyond that, there hope to produce a film version.

Contact Arthur at 215-322-1566, or
imagemindag@verizon.net  

For further information about "Nunc Licet"
or to read a synopsis-
go to
http://www.imagemindag.blogspot.com

We need to finance this production and invite individuals willing to assist with this.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Robin Hood

 _______________________________________

This year's theme for the Southampton Days Parade was "Robin Hood"  (next year's may be The Knights Templar)

Part of the reason for the theme of Robin Hood is that we are endeavoring to produce a musical based on Robin Hood. We have two plays, one from the Junior's Program which was produced in the 1940's and another operetta that was written in 1884.

We are currently reviewing the material and developing a Production Approach Summary for each of these projects. Look for that information to show up on the IMS Virtual Studio.

The Junior's Program is proposed to take place during this Christmas Season if it proves to be possible. It is oriented toward adult performers as the principles with kids joining in the performance. We are hoping to involve the school system as well as community sponsors.

So if anyone is interested in helping out with this program, please send me an email at - Arthur Greisiger: imagemindag@verizon.net and have yourself put on the mailing list for this project. Keep watch here for a link to the PAS when it is assembled.  AG

______________________________________

Spontaneous Shakespeare

______________________________

For those of you who love to read and act Shakespeare, "Spontaneous Shakespeare" is an opportunity to get some more time in on expressing yourself. 

For those of you who have always been a closet Shakespearean, you know, wishing you could get into Shakespeare, but not quite knowing how or when, then here's your chance.

"Spontaneous Shakespeare" as a concept is not quite as spontaneous as the name implies.  We have numerous scripts available, since we are reading from the script, but the scenes that we read has to be planned out and someone needs to take charge of those scenes.  That is why we invite anyone who has a love for a particular play or sequence of scenes from a play, to take charge of directing the folks who show up and want to read.

We also ask that you bring your own scripts with you, if you have any.  Of course we have scripts, but we don't have enough copies of all the scripts and may not have enough copies of the one in which you may like to read.

Our objective is to create an environment where folks can share in the love of expressing their inner Shakespeare... or Hamlet... or Benedict... or Puck... or Moth... and on and on.

So come around any Saturday, or Sunday from 2-4pm and most particularly during our performance time-slots when we may likely have an audience.

And remember that actors are invited to walk-the-boards with us during those time-slots and are encouraged to prepare whatever Shakespearean material they see fit. We are taking a casual approach to these outdoor performances in the program "Spontaneous Shakespeare".

______________________________________

Tamanend Park Day

 ______________________________________

September 11th is Tamanend Park Day when a number of events are planned throughout the park. The hours are between 10 am and 3 pm.  Food services are also provided.  The event has been rained out for the last two years, but this year all looks good for a fun event.

The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park welcome The Village Renaissance Players to the stage in The Meadow Amphitheatre.  All is set for them to present their version of "The Princess Bride" at 12:00 noon, with area actors being invited to show up and make a try at some "Spontaneous Shakespeare" after the show. (refer to the posting on "Spontaneous Shakespeare)

The Village Renaissance Players make their home at The Village Renaissance Faire in Wrightstown which takes place on the weekend of September 18th & 19th at the Grange Fairgrounds in Wrightstown PA.

The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park have performed at the faire and most heartily recommend attendance as a joyful experience. There are many exciting events, renaissance folk of all sorts in glorous costumes, and food galore.  The main staging area provides a most enthralling sequence of events performed by experienced actors in luscious costumes which each year provide a new theme before the enjoyment of the patrons.  It is an event not to be missed.

Come to Tamanend Park Day and experience a preview of The Village Renaissance Players show which they will also be performing at the Renaissance Fair this year.  It is likely that you will also be able to win free admission to the fair as we hoping to offer a raffle, but most certainly you will be able to pick up your two-fers for the faire date.

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