Monday, April 4, 2022

another 48-hour Shakespeare play festival

Silicon Valley Shakespeare does this annually: giving teams each with 4 actors, a writer, and a director 48 hours to write and rehearse a 10-minute skit based on a given Shakespeare play and employing a given premise, each different for each skit, and then perform them before an audience when the 48 hours are up. I've seen these before, and they can be pretty funny.

This year the venue was Foothill College, and the premise was to mash up your assigned Shakespeare play with a popular TV show of your choice. The most successful premise, as well as the most obvious one - possibly these facts are connected - was Titus Andronicus as Chopped, the cooking competition show (which I've actually seen). With one actor as the host and two as the judges, that left one to play all three contestants: Titus, Tamora, and Aaron, which she did virtuosically.

Best single line, however, was in another skit when Captain Kirk, trapped in a Shakespeare re-enactment, wonders how it will come out, and is told, "Not well. It's Richard the Third. Star Trek is never good when it's an odd number."

I also liked one with brilliantly goofy acting by a guy who keeps coming on stage as different characters who all promptly get killed, with his body repeatedly having to be dragged off stage by the same long-suffering other actor.

And the Puck, who, though the Dream mash-up was nominally with Buffy, kept singing snatches of "We Don't Talk About Bruno."

These few highlights aside, though, I thought this year's version was less amusing, and less coherent, than ones I've seen in the past.

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