Category Archives: Hoosier Shakespeare News

Duana Menefee leaps at the chance to do Shakespeare!

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When an opportunity rolls around to do Shakespeare with some of your favorite people in one of your favorite places in the world, you just do it. More than that, you leap at the chance! Especially if you can be on the ground level of a new company!

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That’s how I felt when Fiebig asked me if I had 6 weeks free this summer. Shyeah, of course, I’ll always have time for Summer Shakespeare! It’s one of those right-of-passage, annual traditions that actors everywhere hold. And how cool is it that Hoosier Shakes is having its inaugural season this summer under the direction and movement of some of my dearest friends, mentors, and colleagues? 

It’s a no brainier. I fully expect and anticipate this summer’s events to be full of bright faces, long nights, hand-made theatre, and the finest Shakespeare to be seen in eastern Indiana! It’s a project and a dream that I’ve been looking forward to for months. I really can’t wait to see what Hoosier Shakes turns out to be and I can’t wait to get elbow deep in the work of The Bard and add to the mesh.

What an opportunity for everyone – students, teachers, actors, artists, audiences… Goodness. Exciting all around! Don’t miss it!

Duana will portray Maria in Twelfth Night and Edmund and the Knight in King Lear.

Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

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Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “info@hoosiershakes.com”.

Christian Keffer on the transition from educational theatre to professional theatre

 

Since sixth grade I’ve been a part of educational theatre at whatever school I attended. Each school year played out under the backdrop of whatever show we would put up; my academics didn’t take a back seat but, looking back, they weren’t the most important part of my year—that was always the Fall play or Spring musical. I’m in my Junior year at Indiana Wesleyan University and, still, all I’ve done is educational theatre. As I approach graduation, I approach a time where educational theatre may no longer be an option for me.

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[Enter HOOSIER SHAKES.] I wasn’t sure at first what the purpose of Hoosier Shakes was; I thought it was just a Shakespeare company hoping to bring the Bard’s works to mid-Indiana. Nevertheless, it caught my attention, and I began to look forward to the opportunity to do theatre outside the context of education. The Marion and Wabash areas deserve to experience Shakespeare in some way other than assigned reading by some evil high school English teacher (or SparkNotes), because they need to understand how timeless, impactful and entertaining Shakespeare’s stories are.

Then I discovered the second mission of Hoosier Shakes: to give students a taste of theatre outside the realm of school, and to cultivate networking between the professional and developing thespians involved—exactly what I needed, and exactly what I had been looking for. Students like me need a place to experience professional theatre and to understand what it is exactly they are working toward.

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As I prepare nervously for the auditions on Wednesday, I also approach them with a bit of peace of mind. Sure, there are a couple roles in Twelfth Night and King Lear that I’d love to have the opportunity to play. No matter how we are cast, though, students like me will begin to see what role we have in the world of theatre.

Hoosier Shakes’ Bon Voyage

 

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This Summer, in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Legacy, Hoosier Shakes will launch its inaugural season in Marion, Indiana. Hoosier Shakes is the result of a convergence of paths and ideas over the past few years. The first path began twelve years ago when I was introduced to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, where they present Shakespeare’s plays in the most captivating and compelling way I’ve ever seen. Their influence on me as a theatre artist has been both broad and deep.

The second path was the trajectory I’ve been on since my career in Higher Education began in earnest 16 years ago. I’d been teaching theatre in Higher Education for more than a decade. As much as I enjoyed that work, I had a deep sense of frustration knowing that students from a university like Indiana Wesleyan University, where I currently teach, had little to no chance to break into show business without some sort of divine intervention.

My third path occurred while on sabbatical in NYC, I had the opportunity to direct and co-produce a production of Moliere’s Tartuffe for the Calvary Theatre Guild in midtown Manhattan. I met and worked with a group of professional actors that loved their craft and welcomed the idea of investing in students who reminded them of their former selves.

Melissa Harlow as Elmire, and David Shakopi as Orgon try to bait the impostor Tartuffe, portrayed byDoug Rossi.
Melissa Harlow as Elmire, and David Shakopi as Orgon try to bait the impostor Tartuffe, portrayed by Doug Rossi.

 

The convergence of these paths led me to intentionally constitute a theatre company designed to integrate professional and student actors for the purpose of not only entertaining, educating, and enlightening an audience, but for helping young would-be actors begin to make significant connections with older, more seasoned professionals, thus helping to generate some networking that would otherwise take years to achieve.

I hope you will support Hoosier Shakes with your patronage. We look forward to seeing you on our stage or in our audiences this summer during our repertory productions of “Twelfth Night” and “King Lear.”

Best!

Greg Fiebig, executive director & board president

Hoosier Shakes

Hoosier Shakes Executive Director Greg FIebig
Hoosier Shakes Executive Director Greg Fiebig