This month, Roving Shakespeare — the Mary Baldwin University master of fine arts (MFA) company — continues its 2012–13 season with a double feature of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Fletcher and Massinger’s The Sea Voyage.
A pair of nautical tales with extreme storms, these shows leave their respective
seafarers stranded on remote islands. The Tempest has music, magic, a love story, and revenge, all led by the exiled Prospero and his spirit servant Ariel. The Sea Voyage also consists of a love story, along with shipwrecked French pirates, castaways, an island full of Amazon women, and wannabe cannibals.
Roving Shakespeare uses clever staging and minimal properties in their original telling of these tales. What makes these shows particularly unique, is that they involve
splitting the company into two casts of five actors who then portray all the characters in each show.
Deb Streusand directs The Tempest starring AJ Sclafani, Monica Cross, Stephanie Tschetter, Elizabeth Rentfro, and Rachel Ratkowski. Angelina LaBarre directs The Sea Voyage with Bobby Byers, Liz Lodato, Brian Maxwell, Jamie Weaver, and Jarom Brown.
“The five actors fill the stage, become scenery, and create a soundscape in more imaginative and stimulating ways than if there were a full cast of actors on the stage with a full set,” LaBarre said.
The Tempest opens December 9 and The Sea Voyage opens December 11. Both performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton and are “pay-as-you-like-it” shows, with half of the proceeds being donated to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Roving Shakespeare also invites schools, communities, performance venues, or any
interested party to book them for their season opener, The Comedy of Errors, along with optional educational workshops, through March. Their season continues with King Lear on January 28 and As You Like It on March 18 — all dates hosted at the Blackfriars Playhouse. In the spring, fans can catch the Roving Shakespeare Festival Season Finale of shows at the Blackfriars, March 31–April 2.
Contact Roving Shakespeare’s booking manager Rachel Ratkowski at 301-442-4738 or firstname.lastname@example.org, “like” Roving Shakespeare on Facebook , or follow them on Twitter for more information and ticket discounts.
Roving Shakespeare is a mobile theatre company that combines MFA students’ diverse regional backgrounds and shared knowledge of early modern theatre to bring the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries to audiences.