Category Archives: News

(Exit, pursued by a bear)

 

William Shakespeare was a special guy. If we’re still putting his shows on 400 years later he must have done something right. I caught the Shakespeare bug 4 years ago at the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp in Staunton, Virginia performing  Pericles. Here I am 4 years later and I’m doing Pericles again. The beauty of Shakespeare is that you can put these shows on dozens of times and every experience is different. Every time I look at one of his scripts I find a new nuance in his writing that astounds me. The thing I love about being able to do both Pericles and Twelfth Night  at Hoosier Shakes is that I get two different visions of two classic plays from our directors and that, to me, is the essence of modern Shakespeare. Since we are not able to communicate with the Bard, it’s up to us as actors and directors to bring our own styles and ideas to the words we are given. That’s why we can have one version of Romeo and Juliet set in its original Verona and another set in Verona Beach. It doesn’t matter where it’s set or how the script is cut, Shakespeare’s words still hold strong all these years later and it is this longevity that draws us time and time again to the theater to watch his plays. Its why Shakespeare companies like Hoosier Shakes are popping up all the country. I’m proud that I get to speak these timeless words onstage and I can only hope I do his characters justice.

 

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“The Plays Will Be Good.”

 

Alan Rickman once shared a story about working on a production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. After a performance, Peter Brook asked the company how they felt things were coming along, so the actors started discussing the moments they didn’t quite feel they were hitting yet, the problem spots, and so forth. Brook listened and then said, “The thing is, you’ll never be as good as the play.”

 

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Candace during pre-show of The Cherry Orchard. Sweet Teas Shakespeare (Fayetteville, NC).

 

Because here’s the thing: Shakespeare’s plays are very good.

Understatement of the year, I know, but I don’t know what other words to use without sounding cliché. We’re all taught it in high school literature classes; we all know we’re at least supposed to agree that Shakespeare’s works are amazing.

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Candace Marie Joice Denver, CO

But really, they are.

If you allow yourself the pleasure of studying the complex, yet stunningly accessible stories, characters, and ideas he created – or better yet, if you allow yourself the pleasure of seeing those stories in action on stage in the hands of gifted performers – you can see how exceptional his plays are for yourself. The pleasure of being an actor is that you get to exist in both those worlds: studying first what he put to the page, and then exploring how to bring to life what you’ve studied for the delight of an audience. It’s a rewarding and challenging right of passage, each and every time.

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Candace in MacBeth

Indeed, Shakespeare’s works are, as Rickman also said, something actors test themselves against. He is the master of storytelling in every sense. In his 37 plays, he has crafted enough dazzling characters and thrilling plots to keep any actor sated for a lifetime of potential roles to explore. The economy and beauty of his words create boundless choices for the actor. The characters are honest and colorfully real. His work is accessible, funny, touching, smart, sexy.

And boy has Hoosier Shakes chosen two of Shakespeare’s most beloved and exciting plays for its inaugural season! I promise, the plays will be good. Very good. And we actors will strive to be at least almost as good as the Bard’s writing.

 – Candace Joice

Candace will portray Olivia in Twelfth Night and Cordelia, the Fool and the 3rd Servant 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.

 

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”.

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.