Live (still better than Memorex)

The Putnam County Playhouse, here in Greencastle, just finished its two-weekend run of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. It was the first time, I understand, that Shakespeare was done by our enthusiastic summer summer theater. It was imaginatively directed by Amy Gaither Hayes, who is passionate about the idea that Shakespeare can be well-presented and well-received by what one might call “everyday” people, including many of our non-academic neighbors in this small farm/college town of ours. In this, she reminds me of the wonderful work done by Albert Cullum, which I learned about in the PBS documentary A Touch of Greatness, not only in her use of children and teenagers in the cast, but also in her Shakespeare-is-for-everyone general approach.

I saw the show three times. As the father of the 15-year-old who played Tatania, Queen of the Faries, I was invited to the dress rehearsal; I also attended opening and closing nights. Each night was different, as live theater always is, and it was wonderful to see the way performances evolved over the run of the show. There were a few over-30 players, and they did well, but it was the chlidren, the teenagers, and some the college students who let loose in a way I haven’t seen before in an “amateur” production. By closing night, the spontaneity and collective energy of the actors and the audience made the space crackle with aliveness.

It made me want to read the play and see it again. The thought of renting a DVD of a filmed version crossed my mind, but I immediately realized that anything I watch on a television screen could not come remotely close to the joyful, collective, and so very human experience of which I’d just been part.


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5 responses to “Live (still better than Memorex)

  1. Anonymous

    Dr. E, your daughter is 15!?!?!?!? How is this possible???

    -Sarah MM

  2. robjeny

    I was very lucky to be able to see this production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The Putnam County Playhouse is a converted barn and just charming. The play was very well done, professional, and hilarious.

    Eric’s beautiful 15 year old daughter was exceptional as Tatiana. And she has the perfect looks for the part. She looks born to play a fairy princess.

  3. Anonymous

    Er, I mean fairy QUEEN, of course!

  4. EmmaJohnson

    At midnight they came home delightedly: Polly, as I said, wild to tell me the story of victory; only both the pretty Walton girls said: Cousin Frederic, you did not come near me all the evening.. merely, was one of the most unique and interesting characters of literary and Bohemian New York from about 1895 to his death in 1917.. Perhaps it is their finer perception which leads these tender-hearted women to recognize the divine right of social superiority so much more readily than we; and yet, much as Titbottom was enhanced in my wife’s admiration by the discovery that his dusky sadness of nature and expression was, as it were, the expiring gleam and late twilight of ancestral splendors, I doubt if Mr.. You mos not trink it so strong–you mos put te water in te wine.. Got a little matter with Pink here first.. Presently he came to a window before which he paused in delighted wonder.. But this formula is not serviceable to the dream.. Pike, who made a special contract.. Moreover, he is an eye specialist. Oh! Of course not! he blundered, and went back to the woodshed.. He leaned back comfortably in his chair, and half closing his eyes as in dreamy reminiscence, said, slowly: Your reply, Mr.. I saw the pure resolve, the generous faith, the fine scorn of doubt, the impatience of suspicion.. The lower sash of one window had been raised, and in the yard without, nearly an acre in extent, lay a few bales of cotton, with jagged holes in their ends, just as the sampler had left them.. We have been forced, however, to take decided exception to two of the views pronounced, viz.. Among these we particularly find associations of the sound and consonance types.. He put in a black face with a grin which divided it from ear to ear.. Babe brought a lamp and set it inside the window, and Mr.. It has already been emphasized by Dugas that Goblet was forced to repudiate many facts in order to generalize his theory.. Uncle Mose took a chair and laid his hat carefully on the floor beside it.. Brill, Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases , Monograph Series…

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