Browsing articles tagged with " Shakespeare"

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

May 29, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

Shylock (Joe Weiner) and Antonio (Michael Lee)

When Joseph Papke at Classical Actors Ensemble asked me to direct Merchant of Venice, I was both delighted to be asked to work with this fresh young company and also wary at the prospect of tackling this deeply troubling play.

Is this …

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

May 29, 2017   //   by Kate Powers   //   Incarcerated performers, Productions, Shakespeare

Feste in Twelfth Night at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, 2016

 

In 2016, as our contribution to the celebration of Shakespeare’s 400 year legacy, the men of RTA and I staged Twelfth Night at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It was my fifth time directing this play; it was my fifth …

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“He struggled and kept his guard up”: Hamilton in the Big House

Apr 1, 2016   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

“I am the one thing in life I can control.

I am inimitable,

I am an original.

Life doesn’t discriminate

Between the sinners and the saints

It takes and it takes and it takes

And we keep living anyway

We rise and we fall and we break

And we make

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Ira hates Shakespeare. Or maybe he doesn’t.

Aug 4, 2014   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Shakespeare

Last week’s Ira Hates Shakespeare furor illuminated one of the dingier corners within the house of social media: lots of heated, inflated, reductivist and binary declaiming. “Shakespeare’s amazing! “Shakespeare sucks!” This strikes me as particularly unhelpful and more than a little overwrought; can an art form really be undone by …

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Stand and unfold yourself: a month at Shakespeare & Company

Apr 24, 2014   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Shakespeare

In January, I was a participant in the month-long intensive at Shakespeare & Company. Tina Packer, Dennis Krausnick, Kevin Coleman and their colleagues have been teaching the intensive for more than 30 years, and intensive is categorically one of the operative descriptors: the hours are long and the work is …

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Dec 30, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Productions

Jake Mahler as Lysander and Denice Mahler as Hermia

Harley Granville Barker, a director, Shakespeare scholar and clever redhead, wrote, “Let us humbly own how hard it is not to write nonsense about art.”  He wrote this in his preface to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is a kind …

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Law & Order: Denmark

Nov 16, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

Last night, we put Claudius on trial.

Miching mallecho

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Twitter, you probably know that I’m teaching a Shakespeare workshop at Sing Sing Correctional Facility this autumn, that the men were curious but deeply skeptical about Shakespeare when we began.  A …

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Nay, answer me

Nov 9, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Incarcerated performers, Shakespeare

I’m sitting in a run-down classroom as the sun slowly sets on the other side of the Hudson River.  The windows are threaded with metal, and there are metal grates on the outside of the glass.  Every so often, a corrections officer walks past the door.  Twelve men sit with …

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And I have found Midsummer, like a jewel …

Aug 22, 2011   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook, Shakespeare

I just finished an exhilarating, thrilling, grueling and very fun rehearsal process, directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the American Shakespeare Center.  There was no opening night.  At least, not yet.  My production comprises one-third of the 2011-2012 Almost Blasphemy Tour, and the day after our second dress rehearsal for …

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The strip of (textual) terror

Dec 13, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Coaching Tips, Director's Notebook, Shakespeare

[This post originally appeared on www.2amtheatre.com, which is a very cool place to appear.]

Collation line.  Apparatus.  Strip of terror.  Whatever you call it, it’s that somewhat inscrutable line or two of apparently Enigma code between the text and the annotations, particularly in a modern edition of, say, Shakespeare.  …

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The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

Nov 16, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions
"Sir, / You speak a language that I understand not".

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Nov 13, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

Frank Creasy as Sir Toby Belch and David White as Sir Andrew Aguecheek

Overview

This was my third time directing Twelfth Night. Artistic Director Grant Mudge threw down two especial challenges: stage the play using ‘original practices’ and with only five actors. Modeled on the Actors from the English …

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Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Nov 10, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

Prologue

While I was pursuing my M.A. at the Shakespeare Institute, I studied with Dr. John Jowett, who has done a tremendous amount of work on attribution studies in general, and the relationship between Shakespeare and Thomas Middleton in particular. I was particularly intrigued by his scholarship with regard to…

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The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Nov 6, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions


“It’s down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it’s alright.”

*****

“I will be kind, won’t be so cruel,
I will be sweet, I will be true,
Because of

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As You Like It by William Shakespeare

Nov 5, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

Don’t forget about the sex

American master director Stephen Wadsworth reminded me that As You Like It is “not necessarily a play about love but about self-realization through exile.” British director David Leveaux, by way of advising me, said: “Don’t forget about the sex.” I kept both of these extremely …

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Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Nov 3, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

The particular challenge

I worked to tell the stories of the play as truthfully and as clearly as we can, but I also wanted to celebrate the innate theatricality of the play. We examined every irregularity in the scansion, every short verse line, every shared verse line, every transition from …

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Cymbeline by William Shakespeare

Nov 1, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Productions

My program notes

Faithful love. Mistaken identity. Lost children. Separated lovers. Magic potions. Wicked stepmothers. Exhausting and frightening journeys through the wilderness. War with the Romans. Reconciliation. Forgiveness. Just your basic fairy, uh —Shakespeare. Only it isn’t. Basic.

Cymbeline was one of the last plays that William Shakespeare wrote. Only …

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Like an old tale still

Oct 23, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Coaching Tips, Director's Notebook

[This post originally appeared on www.2amtheatre.com, which is a very cool place to appear.]

Last week, I coached an actor who had a big audition this past weekend.  It was of the ‘bring two contrasting pieces’ variety.  She came to me a little later in her process than I …

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Some Other Shakespeare (SOS) in the Park

Oct 13, 2010   //   by Kate Powers   //   Producing, Productions

In collaboration with performers Frank Bradley and Seana Lee Wyman, I founded Some OTHER Shakespeare in the Park. Between 1996 and 1997, we produced and I directed Much Ado about Nothing in Bryant Park (behind the main New York Public Library) and Twelfth Night in Madison Square Park (across from …

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Talking amiss of her: speech, silence and shrewishness in The Taming of the Shrew

Jan 2, 2002   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

[I wrote this essay as part of my graduate work at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.]

“Surely we’re trying to find out at the beginning what we mean by ‘shrew’. Supposing we said ‘shrew’ equals ‘noisy one’. Along comes a man to tame the noisy one. And for almost five

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Open stage to empty space: the Granville-Barker inheritance

Jan 1, 2002   //   by Kate Powers   //   Director's Notebook

[I wrote this essay as part of my graduate work at the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.]

Harley Granville-Barker’s dramaturgical criticism has transformed our collective perception of Shakespeare’s plays. Full stop. Once he had completed his work as a director and as an analyst, it would no longer be defensible to …

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