Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Hello, and Happy New Year, dear reader! 

I'm your host, Rivka, and I'm tickled to bring you the January edition of the Shakespeare Tavern Blog.

No doubt, at some point you have been in the theater, enjoying your delicious dinner before a Tavern show, and have become aware of the music playing in the background. Sometimes it’s recordings of period pieces by Thomas Morely or John Dowland. Sometimes it’s original music written for Tavern shows by our incredible in-house composer, Bo Gaiason. But sometimes… it’s not. If you’ve ever been enjoying your Shepherd’s Pie or Cornish Pasty and have heard The Beatles or Lady Gaga, perhaps you’ve wondered how that fits in amongst the leaded glass windows and portrait of Gloriana Regina.

Jaclyn Hofmann Faircloth
Well, some of our directors like to create playlists that comment upon the characters or the play. Jaclyn Hofmann Faircloth, director of this year’s Twelfth Night, is one such playlist creator. 
Jaclyn joined the Tavern family as an Acting Apprentice in 2010. Following her Apprenticeship, she worked both on our Mainstage and in our Education Department, eventually landing a job with Aurora Theater in Lawrenceville. Her impact on their education department has been profound. But even with a full-time job and two kids at home, she still makes time to direct for us upon occasion (and to create curated playlists).

Let’s hear from her!

Jaclyn, I understand that you created your own playlist for Twelfth Night. Is there an overarching theme to the playlist you created? 

“When considering the pre-show playlist, I first started listening to Baroque music, thinking that most be the most appropriate, but it just didn't feel right.  For every show I direct I ask the cast to submit songs for their own backstage pre-show playlist... it can be something that feels right for their character, something that thematically ties into the show, or just whatever connects them to the story they are about to tell.  I compile all of the songs onto a Spotify list and share it with the cast so they all have access if they like.  I am always really excited to see what people pick and love the variety of songs we wind up with.  So, when I wasn't having much success in the time-period appropriate genre, my mind kept going back to the Cast Playlist. "I wish I could just play that", I thought. But that super contemporary mix didn't quite feel right too. We are doing an Original Practice Play that is made to speak to a Modern Audience... so musically, what's the balance? That's when I started to think of my love of The Piano Guys... the instrumentation always feels a bit classical in nature to me, yet when they pair it with modern songs it organically has a familiar feel. Perfect.  So, I started to search their repertoire, as well as other similar groups: Vitamin String Quartet, Simply Three, etc.  I searched for song titles put together by our Cast and many wound up on there: "Dear Prudence", "Thank u, next", "I Kissed a Girl". And then I added anything that felt likewise thematically appropriate:  "Secrets", "What Makes You Beautiful", "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", etc.” 

How does a playlist help set the mood before a show? 

“The show hits unrequited love from every angle, and for some it turns out well, for others not so much. So to me the Playlist is meant to capture the roller-coaster of emotions a person goes through while in chasing love:  hope, rejection, joy, fear, butterflies, longing, despair, intense happiness, and everything in between!”

Are there particular songs that match up with particular characters?

“Yes and no... since the cast submitted many of the songs, some of them are very much from their perspective. For instance, one of the songs Marlon submitted, "Dear Prudence", works beautifully for Orsino… but I would say Sir Andrew and Olivia could also likely relate. Avery (who plays Sir Andrew) actually submitted 10 songs, some that made him think of specific characters and others that were related to a scene.”  

   Any inside jokes included in the playlist that you’d care to share with the readers?

“If any readers want to check the playlist out, I think they might find that there are some that make you chuckle if you know the play (like "I Kissed a Girl"):  

Jaclyn, thank you. It’s been wonderful talking with you, and I’m sure our readers appreciated the little “peek behind the curtain”. Any last thoughts to share with us?

 “One of my favorite things about our pre-show Playlist is that it was truly inspired by all of the talent in the room throughout our Process. And that is my favorite thing about working in the theatre in general: it is team sport, through and through, and the best moments of any play are birthed from great collaboration.” 

Twelfth Night is playing now through January 26th.
Some of the Twelfth Night cast and crew

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