Shakespeare in Performance has recently made a few big improvements in the troupe and the theater. We want to give our students every opportunity to grow as both actors and individuals, and these changes play into that overall goal.

The New and Improved Black Box Theater

Anyone who has been to our theater in the past should make time to see a show in our newly renovated Black Box theater, located in the Prince Building.

We replaced the old modular platform with a permanent stage, specially designed for our style of theatre. It is a thrust stage where audience members are seated on the actual platform where actors perform. Other improvements include additional ceiling mics, a finished green room, a newly installed camera, and the elevation of the control room.

Two is Better than One

This year, Shakespeare in Performance is doing two plays as a gift for (and tribute to) our seniors, many of whom have spent all four years of their college career with the troupe. For the veteran actors, those new to the troupe, and those who came to Ave Maria specifically to be part of SIP, we wanted this spring’s performances to leave their mark in a new and unique way.

Macbeth and The Tempest are the two plays I’ve chosen, with Macbeth being our troupe’s first tragedy. The common thread through both plays is the attempt to overthrow legitimate authorities. The plays perfectly contrast with one another; one focuses on vengeance and the other on forgiveness. As our audiences watch, they should think about the different kinds of magic portrayed in each play: what qualities does the spiritual realm possess in tragedy versus comedy (or romance, as we typically classify The Tempest).

This year, the audience and actors can look forward to extensively choreographed fight scenes and songs that range from hip hop to musicals. We’ve got witches and fairies, kings and dukes, drunken porters and a comic island trio who will bring hilarity and delight to the stage.

Of course, some things about our theater will always stay the same. These plays will always be a way for students to move through Shakespeare’s plots and envelop themselves in the language of his plays.

Plans for the Summer?

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, another new SIP initiative will be taking place this summer. My wife, Mary, and I will be hosting a Shakespeare in Performance summer camp this year as an opportunity for high school students and recent graduates to study acting in fun, supervised environment.

Big things are happening for Shakespeare in Performance! Come see a show or get involved to be part of the excitement.