Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Two Noble Women of The Two Noble Kinsmen

We had to take a moment and talk to the ladies of the show.  By the way, there are seven women performing in this production!  Check out this interview with Amee Vyas and Katherine Lawson!

Who are you and what are your characters?
AV: Amee Vyas and I play the Jailer’s Daughter. It’s really listed as Daughter in the dramatis personae and in the script. It’s in the stage directions, we get “Jailer’s” Daughter, so for consistency we say Jailer’s Daughter.
KLKathryn Lawson playing Princess Emelia

How long have you been working at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse?
AV: I plead the fifth! Actually, this is my 14th year with ASC and I’ve performed in at least one play here every year except for the 2012-13 season when I moved out of Atlanta for a brief year.
KL: Since 2010

What did you enjoy most about the previous production of The Two Noble Kinsmen when it was produced five years ago?
AV: The freedom of not having a predecessor or another popular production of the play to be compared to. Also, I believe we took that freedom and ran with it. We created some really lovely bits of staging (and that Troy specifically re-created in this production) because we were all willing to try anything; since, we’d never seen the play performed we didn’t think “well, that’s not how Branagh did it!” or “you know, I hate it when actors make Hamlet so mopey, so I’m going to do it differently!” We really allowed the text to dictate what we did, which resulted in one particularly uber-theatrical staging: the building of a human ship – which one of the actors suggested as a literal interpretation of the brief text in the scene.
KL: The wonderful cast and meeting new people in Atlanta theatre. 

What do you like that is different about this production?
AV: The cast is great. Each new cast brings something fun and exciting (if the gods are smiling at you and with this cast they are!). I don’t remember laughing as hard backstage the last time. Then again, we were all a little unsure of the play and how it would be received. This time around we knew that it is a magical play and with Daniel and Matt as the title characters, we were set for success!
KL: I love our wonderful new cast and getting to play pretend with my very dear friends.

What is one of your favorite moments in this show? When do you feel most connected to the show?
AV: Ahh, there are so many! This is unfair!  I’d like to say the last moment of the opening song, when Sarah Beth goes for the Soprano line and Rivka beats the last four notes on the drum, there’s a harmony of sounds that is just beautiful; but then, I think, my personal favorite is one of my character’s last scenes in the play, I’m drunk (which Shakespeare never gives to a female character!) and I’m talking about the afterlife. Instead of staging it where I am interacting with the 3 other characters who are talking about how crazy I am, Troy continues my character’s arc of being alone with the audience and I play the entire scene in the ditch and on the edge of the thrust. There isn’t a more perfect example of audience interaction and since I’m drunk and seeing a different world I’m also tapping into my craft; so it becomes a perfect intersection of preparation, craft, and being in the room – and it’s just fun to do.
KL: There's a big confrontation scene after intermission that I feel like is super dynamic, the two Noble Kinsmen have their sword fight interrupted by the royal hunting party: Theseus & Emelia have their bows drawn and ready, Hippolyta & Pirithous have their mitts out, everybody's ready to throw down.  For me, it's the little moments of audible response that echoes how I'm thinking and feeling in a particular moment. We've just finished uproariously laughing at our own bad jokes and Matt/Arcite does this snap stare of mega intensity and the audience sees this budding connection between us and responds.  Kevin/Theseus says "Make choice then." And there is a groan of sympathy for Emelia's predicament of having to choose between two handsome awesome lovable guys knowing that whichever one she doesn't choose dies.  I love being able to use our style of original practice to directly address the audience and actually ask two different audience members which Kinsmen I should choose!  I never know what they are going to say.

Who should see this show and why?
AV: Everyone! First, it’s rarely produced, so if you are a theater- or Shakespeare- or Classic Literature-geek, you need to see it. Second, it’s a beautiful production with music, and fights, and a human ship. Lastly, #shamelessplug, I’m in it!
KL: Can you relate to love in the extreme? Or love that is non-traditional and multifaceted? Have you ever stalked an ex? Have you ever dated more than one person at the same time and didn't know which one you liked best? Do you like music? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, no judgement but you should see Two Noble Kinsmen!

Amanda Lindsey McDonald
Social Media Specialist

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Two Noble Kinsmen and... The Two Noble Kinsmen!

We took some time with Matt Nitchie and Daniel Parvis to get the scoop on this year's production of The Two Noble Kinsmen.  Check it out!

Who are you and who are you playing?
MN: My name's Matt Nitchie.  I play Arcite
DP: Hey, my name is Daniel Parvis and I play Palamon, a noble kinsman!

How long have you performed at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse?
MN:I've been with the Tavern since the '04-'05 apprentice year.  So about 12 years.  Yikes.
DP: Oh, a good 8-9 seasons, and a couple scattered shows over the past few years.

What did you enjoy about the previous production that was done five years ago?
MN: The ensemble, the story, and the music.  Working with Parvis.  Hell, the whole package.
DP: I really enjoyed the way that the company fully embraced both the comedy and tragedy of the play.   Not seeing the two elements as conflicting and potentially shying away from either element.  Going for broke with both!

What do you like that is different with this production?
MN: We were able to dig a bit deeper this time.  Refine some characterizations and such.  There's also some great new energy from our new cast members.
DP: I like the new additions to our cast, they're fantastic to work with, and I love making new friends.  I also like that I can play the mandolin now, I think I'd like to get one and keep playing.  I also like seeing how those of us who are returning have grown as actors in the five or so years since we last did the play.

What is one of your favorite moments in this show?
MN:  I think we came up with a very strong first moment for the show.  It's a great first step.  That, and the first scene of our second half.  It's such a juicy scene.  Oh, and the prison scene.  Man, there are a bunch of good bits in this show.
DP: One of my favorite moments is the prayer scene.  The speeches are beautiful, and we have some amazing music created by Clark Weigle and performed by the cast supporting them.  I think that it's a very powerful, moving moment in the show

When do you feel most connected to the character/audience?
MN: It can change nightly.
DP: I don't think I can say without spoiling anything!  But let's just say that I think I feel the most connected any time my character is acknowledging the love he feels for either Emilia or his fellow kinsman.

Who should see this show and why?
MN: I think everyone should come see this show.  It's not just some dusty old Shakespeare play noone knows about.  This play is beautiful and very funny.  It moves well and it's relatable.  It's a very special show to me, and I think many people will miss out simply because it's not one of his more famous plays.
DP: I absolutely love this play, and I think it's totally underrated.  It has so much heart in it.  Anyone who wants to laugh, cry, and see a rarely produced Shakespeare play should come see this one.  And beer.  Anyone who likes beer should come see this show.  There's beer.

The Two Noble Kinsmen has one more weekend of shows.  Don't miss this show!

Amanda Lindsey McDonald
Social Media Specialist