Sunday, October 31, 2010

To Protect Us All

From ASC's Production Stage Manager, Cindy Kearns, on what to do if you're caught saying the word "Macbeth" (or quoting the play when not doing the play) anywhere in the theatre to protect yourself:

1. Go outside the front door or the back door

2. Turn around 3 times

3. Spit

4. Say a swear word

5. Knock 3 times on the door

6. Humbly ask to be re-admitted to the theatre

Have a Happy (and Safe!) Halloween everybody!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Parting is sweet sorrow indeed.

Last night the Tavern family said goodbye to actor Mike Niedzwiecki, who's moving out to Los Angeles. Mike's been part of the Shakespeare Tavern world since he joined the 2006-2007 Apprentice Company and has played many roles on our stage. Not to mention he also held arguably the coolest-sounding title of all the staff members here: "Master of Weapons"!

Mike's last full season at the Tavern was a strong one, including roles like Orlando in As You Like It and Chanticleer in Canterbury Tales. But we'll miss him around here as much for his good humor as for his talent on stage. For example:

See what I mean?

We also recently bid a loving farewell to Kate Cella, who moved to New York City this week. Kate has worked as one of our box office mavens for the past year or so but she also appeared on our stage when she was little, so she's really been part of the Tavern family for years (she makes a brief appearance in the above video as well)!

We wish both Mike and Kate the best of luck in their new lives. We're very excited for both of you, but we'll definitely miss you around the Tavern!

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Intern's-Eye View

Emma Patrick, one of three college students interning with our Education Department's 2010 summer programs, writes about her experience working with students in last month's 'Shakespeare Intensive for Teens' on their production of Twelfth Night:

"I have loved Shakespeare since I was eleven and I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the first time. All throughout high school I was surrounded by people who thought Shakespeare was dull and boring. I could never figure out why they didn’t know that Shakespeare was alive and exciting! That’s why I was so excited when I learned that I would be interning at the Tavern with the Shakespeare Intensive for Teens (SIT) program. I had the chance to work with thirteen high school kids who were passionate about theater and Shakespeare and who wanted to share their passion with each other and with their audiences. As an intern, my job was to support the instructors and make sure the kids had the best experience possible, which meant doing anything from making copies to participating in combat classes. The whole process was sometimes stressful, sometimes funny, but never boring. While I was helping the kids learn, I also learned so much about theater and teaching theater by watching Matt Felten, Tiffany Porter, and Andy Houchins work with the kids!

By far the most rewarding part of the whole month-long experience was standing backstage and seeing the giant smiles on the kids’ faces as they came off the stage Saturday evening after their first show. They were so proud of themselves, and rightly so. They had done an outstanding job with just four weeks of rehearsal. In addition to memorizing their parts and rehearsing what was put on stage, the students also learned two songs and participated in a whole host of classes and games, from improv to combat and everything in between.

In addition to helping out with SIT Session 1, I also got to observe one of my fellow interns working with the Shakespeare Superheroes program, ASC’s summer camp for 7-13 year olds that presents scenes and monologues from two of Shakespeare’s plays at the end of two weeks. Even more amazing than the fact that middle schoolers were speaking Shakespeare, and understanding it, was the fact that they had gotten their parts, memorized them, and rehearsed enough to put on a simply astounding show, all within two weeks.

Now that Session 1 of SIT is over, I’m doing administrative work and learning just how much it takes behind the scenes to make an organization like the Atlanta Shakespeare Company run smoothly. Every so often I can hear shouts from down the hall where the second session of SIT is rehearsing As You Like It and I can’t wait to see what I’m sure will be another amazing show."

-Emma Patrick, Education Intern

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I am Excited about The Ded Bob Shakespeare Comedy Spectacular

I'll admit that I pushed hard to get Ded Bob to come back to The Tavern to do a show. (My original thought was to have him do a one-time-only benefit performance. I'm glad Bob's Creator Clark Orwick suggested he do a longer run.) I wanted to share with our new audience some of the magic that made me want to come to the Tavern in the first place. I just knew it would be something everyone would enjoy, even if they didn't know what they were getting themselves into at first!

When I was a Senior in High School (1992) I went to The Georgia Renaissance Festival a lot. Back then, The Atlanta Shakespeare Company had a stage on-site and they did several Shakespeare Shorts. I don't remember the titles, but there were 4 or 5 and they were hilarious, I saw every one multiple times. In my geeky opinion, they were the smartest, funniest shows out there. One of the Shorts actors (Clark) was also doing a "ventriloquist" act called Ded Bob on another stage. Bob was irreverent, quick-witted and a little bit naughty. I was immediately hooked. Or Bobmatized.

I heard that the Atlanta Shakespeare Company was doing an Elizabethan Vaudeville-type show at this place called The Shakespeare Tavern and it would feature acts from the Ren Fest: the Zucchini Brothers, Ded Bob and The Shakespeare Shorts. So, the night before I graduated High School, my friends and I walked through the front doors of The Shakespeare Tavern. I got a front row seat and a meat pie. The show started, some guy named Jeff Watkins came out and started the evening with his magic show: his card tricks, his nose flute trick, his, well, you'll just have to come see the show to see what else he's got up his sleeves.

Then Ded Bob came out and did his stuff; then the Zucchini Brothers juggled and there were a couple of Shakespeare Shorts. My friends and I had the best time. (Eventually, two of those friends would go on to become ASC's costume designer and Assistant Stage Manager!)

I don't remember the details of the show, I just remember that 1. I knew I had found a place I wanted to be and 2. I fell asleep during my graduation ceremony the next day.

As I was leaving the Tavern, Jeff was standing at the bottom of the stairs, saying goodnight to people, holding his 9 month-old baby boy, Joe. Joe graduates High School this month.

I started volunteering at the Tavern right away; they hired me to run the Box office in 1994.

You can see why I'm more than a little nostalgic for these next two weeks at the Tavern. Ded Bob and The Shakespeare Shorts are what brought me to where I am now and I couldn't be more happy or grateful.

I hope everyone who comes to see The Ded Bob Shakespeare Comedy Spectacular will have fond memories. I hope some of the folks who first came to the Tavern back the early 90's will come back and remember things the way I did; I hope that new people will walk through our front doors and feel what I felt that first time: This is my new home.

Admitedly, I may still be a little Bobmatized.

posted by Jeanette, Marketing Manager

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Announcing our Coriolanus Photoshop and Caption Contest!

We’re looking for some creative people to have a little fun with some left over Coriolanus press images.

Between now and June 12, we’ll be taking your submissions of Photoshopped images of Coriolanus (played by J.C. Long, good sport that he is) attacking things.
Once the winner has been chosen (by a panel of Highly Qualified Tavern Employees), we will release that image to be captioned by our audience.

The winning Photoshop-er will get 4 free tickets and a Royal Upgrade to one show(any show,) while the winning Caption Writer will receive a $50 Tavern Gift Card!

For more information and to download our Coriolanus photos for the contest, click on 'Photoshop and Caption Contest' at!

Happy 'Shopping!

A few examples to get your ideas flowing:

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Lobby Posters

If you walk into our lobby between now and June (and we certainly hope you will,) you might notice that something's a little different. Those numerous photo panels of past productions that normally line the lobby's brick walls have been removed, making way for three solitary posters.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the 'Pride, Glory, Hate' Coriolanus poster series!

posted by Kristin

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Students Take the Stage at the Shakespeare Tavern

This past weekend saw a long-time dream come true for our Education Department: Saturday and Sunday afternoon, two performances wrapped up our first-ever Residency Festival featuring high school students from the Metro Atlanta area. These performances marked the culmination of in-school Residencies that we began in January at two member schools of the Atlanta Public Schools system. The resulting two student productions joined this weekend to create His Voice, Our Voice: A Shakespeare Residency Festival.

An ASC Residency is an intensive eight-week process that allows our top Education Artists to work closely with students after school for hours every day, over an extended period of time. These eight weeks of fun and creative exploration provide participants with training not just in acting basics, safe stage combat, and Elizabethan history, but also in such critical workplace skills as time management, effective communication, the ability to work as part of a team and to see a project through to completion, and self-confidence. A Residency closes with participants performing their own production of a Shakespeare play, both for classmates in their school’s auditorium and on our own professional stage.

The participants in this year’s Residencies at Therrell High School and Carver School of Technology worked hard for eight weeks to put these productions together—and it showed. The final performances on the Tavern stage of Carver’s Macbeth and Therrell’s Midsummer Night’s Dream gave these teens a chance to shine in the spotlight and to speak some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. But the students brought their own personalities to the productions: the words might have been Shakespeare’s, but the attitude, passion and voices were distinctly their own (the spectacular step routine performed by Oberon’s fairies brought down the house!) That, in a nutshell, illustrates why we call it His Voice, Our Voice.

Our 'nefarious plan:' we’d love for this Festival to become an annual event involving more and more schools from Atlanta, both public and private. Here’s hoping!

Check out the gorgeous photos of these two productions on the Atlanta Public Schools website here:

posted by Kristin

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We had a beautiful snow storm on Friday. Here are a couple of photos I took:

The back deck:

Education Programs Coordinator Tony Brown scraping the snow off his car:

Across the street at the hospital

-posted by Jeanette