Monday, December 12, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice: Christopher Brown

Christopher Brown is a gem. A bright, green, shiny gem that you want to snuggle at night to keep you warm & safe, like...well, not like a gem then. Like a...teddy bear? That's right. He's a teddy bear! A fuzzy, sweet teddy bear that grows on trees in Georgia and-...wait, shoot, no. Now we're thinking of peaches.

In any case, Chris is great! He plays our Gratiano in Merchant of Venice, and you're gonna fall in love with him one way or the other, onstage or off. You keep reading, and we'll try to figure out how an analogy works...

He's only got eyes (meta)phor you.

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

CB: I’d say Gratiano’s favorite color would have to be pink. He’s the flamboyant type and as such, likes to rock the bright colors. I’m a bit more grounded…I’d go with a solid forest green.

HID: Gratiano seems like a bit of a party animal. If he could party with anyone else from Shakespeare’s canon, who would it be?

CB: Well I’d say the obvious answer would be Mercutio but I think those two personality types might not clash well… too much energy for one pub to handle. Gratiano would have a damn good time with Merry Wives' Falstaff though. That would be something else.

HID: He’s also *super helpful* at pairing Lorenzo up with his lady. Have you ever hooked anyone up or played a wing-man in real life?

CB: Being a wing-man is one of my favorite things to do in the world. Given that I am a serial monogamist, I find pleasure in the chase for other people. The best is when you have two great friends who both are looking desperately. All you have to do is bring the booze. ;) Gratiano could learn a thing or two from me on that one.

HID: Where would you and Gratiano go for a drink, and what would you each have?

CB: This is an obvious one. We would have two Moscow mules at The Standard hotel. That being said, it would be tight to bring him to the ‘Nawlins French quarter district and see how he fares. It might be tough considering he’s an Italian from the 14th century and most probably an owner of slaves….oh well.

Want to party with Christopher Brown? You'll have to buy him a drink (or several) after the show! Be sure to catch Chris (and all the HIDiots) in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice, opening this Wednesday!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
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Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Josh Riffle

Yesterday's post was about Josh Mahaffey. This one's about Josh Riffle. In Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice, they play Solario & Salanio, and, take it from us, Josh is Josh's better half. Or...is Josh Josh's? Hm. Either way, they're an amazing duo. And if you thought Mahaffey's guitar skills were impressive, wait til you check out Riffle on the mandolin, banjo, and violin. Not all at the same time...though that does give us an Josh-y idea....

Either way, we'll quit Joshing you and let you read about Josh! Just make sure you read about Josh as well, and then come see them BOTH in Merchant of Venice.

Have you even seen them in the same place at the same time before? Just saying.

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? Any why?

JHR: My personal favorite color is Lime Green, and Salanio’s is Powder Blue. I've always felt like Lime Green is a very clean color with a lot of character. It is bold, and yet also has a certain refined sense. I remember doing production of The Merry Wives Of Windor when I was fifteen or so, and the dressing rooms had a window looking over the harbor in Annapolis.  I looked out the window one time and this beautiful young lady was on the sidewalk wearing a very classy black dress, carrying probably about five or six balloons, and on her feet she had these incredibly loud lime green heels. I mean, seeing The Who at Woodstock level of loud. I was entranced by these shoes almost a block away... and then I nearly missed an entrance. But, ever since that experience, I have loved Lime Green for the strange mystique and overwhelming power it seems to have over me.

I chose Powder Blue for Salanio because Salum in Latin means “the ocean” or “the color of the sea.”  I also thought that it was a very fitting color for Salanio becuase I'm pretty sure he's a winter and could wear it without it wearing him. ;-)

HID: In this show alone, you play the guitar, the mandolin, and the violin? What else do you play, and what instrument would you love to learn to play without any effort?

JHR: I also play Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Lap Steel, Autoharp, Sitar, and am learning how to play Piano and the Accordion. 

More than anything else (without any effort), I would love to learn how to play Pedal Steel and the Oud. I am, in general, not a humongous fan of country music (more specifically modern country music - a lot of the old stuff is quite great!), however, I absolutely LOVE country instruments. And I also don't currently play anything that I really need to use my feet or knees for, so something like that would be a cool endeavor.  But also the Oud.  I just love how mellow the tone usually is, and also that it is a fretless instrument.  I am really big fan of Middle Eastern Music (thanks System of a Down for putting me on that path!), and when I working on my own music I often find myself going down paths that my current (albeit, very large) instrument arsenal cannot accomodate. The Pedal Steel and the Oud are definitely within the next few steps for me, even if those steps are more than a few thousand dollars away. :-P


HID: The scene gets cut off, but what else would you say or do to try and cheer Antonio up at the beginning of the play?

JHR: “Hey man, at least you have your health. And you’ve got a ton of ships! Even more, absolutely everyone loves you! I mean, you’re THE Merchant of Venice!” And then, if that didn't work, he'd probably start tickling Antonio. And if that didn't work, he'd probably enlist Solario to play some Tenacious D for Antonio.  If that doesn't work, then obviously we need to build a watermelon cannon. O_o

HID: Also, we don’t know how to ask this, but…what’s wrong with the Prince of Morocco?

JHR: I think you could chalk it up to hubris. He just has a very high opinion of himself and believes that he is the most clever individual with the best reasoning and the best understanding of the world around him. I like to believe he is quite well travelled, but that everything he sees of the world around him is filtered through the lens of his privileged life. I also don’t think he has to capacity to understand why anyone else wouldn’t think he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I think his language barriers are a symptom of this detachment from the rest of the world. But, you see, he really thinks he uses the best words. Very sad. Very, Very sad. I don't think he has a Twitter though. #MakeMoroccoGreatAgain


Red state or blue, you owe it to yourself to cross whatever borders you must to see this show. Walk, run, skip, or simply let Josh's music pick you up and carry you right to the theatre. See you there!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
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Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Joshua Mahaffey

Jimi Hendrix. Jimmy Page. Joshua Mahaffey. All amazing guitarists,  all starting with the same letter. Coincidence? We don't even care if it is, we just adore this guy. He's been strumming onstage for us for some time now, and even when we cast him without the guitar, he made sweet music with his ferocious acting. But this time, lucky you, you get to read all about Josh, then catch him in all his musical and theatrical glory. Don't miss out!

Here seen practicing for his mugshot, like all great musicians.

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? Any why?

JM: My favorite color remains blue. For evidence supporting such an opinion, I refer readers to the sky, the ocean, the style of music serving as the cornerstone of all rock/pop/country, the ocean, the hue in my piercing gaze, and last but not least, the sky. And the ocean.

Solario’s favorite color is bright orange – like the sun (or a sunburst finish on a siiiiiick Stratocaster) He’s always been drawn to the sun and the solar system, not sure why…..

HID: You play the guitar very masterfully in this show, and you also play the piano, correct? Tell us a little about your musical background, and how you become so amazing.

JM: Well aw-shucks to the max! I guess it started when I was little, my Dad would play the piano a lot in the house (he’s the real deal.) I never took formal lessons, but loved to pick up on little tricks and things he was doing. That’s where the seed was planted.

Then when I was 10 we were allowed to join band at school. I wanted to play the saxophone (then the coolest instrument) but alas my hands were too small, so they made me play the clarinet. That did not last long, but I did pick up some fundamentals of reading music that would help later on.

It wasn’t until I was 12 that I picked up the guitar. I started with lessons, and instantly became obsessed. The Beatles were a large part of my guitar education. I thought I had a spiritual experience the first time I heard the opening riff of Day Tripper, but it was nothing compared to the one I had when I played it for the first time. After about three years of lessons, I stopped so I could have more time for high school drama (and for theatre) but I kept learning things on my own.

Perhaps the most significant musical intervention in my life was that of the high school choir. My future wife and I both sang in the choir between plays/classes/make out sessions. Our teacher was a woman so full of life, and so demanding of excellence. She taught us to value musicality and feeling as equals to accuracy in pitch and rhythm. In our senior year, after a large amount of effort on our part, and an enormous amount on hers, our choir got the opportunity to travel to Austria and sing for the festivities tied to Mozart’s 250th birthday. Needless to say, the experience was life-altering and humbling.

3 years after we graduated, that wonderful woman, Ms. Cathy Wallace, lost a battle to cancer. Every time I play or sing, even if I’m not the most up-to-snuff technically (often the case) I strive to capture and convey the feeling of the music. That’s the mark she left on me. And I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Nowadays, I am the epitome of happiness when I get to combine my love of theatre with my love of music - Whether it’s playing in the pit for a musical, playing in a band of former BFAs who want to combine theatre training with songwriting, or playing in these wonderful HID shows. Music and storytelling have always held hands tightly, and I’m happiest in that grip.

HID: Solario & Salanio are like two peas in a pod, but what are their biggest similarities and differences?

JM: They’re biggest similarities are music and booze. If they’re not playing their banjos and guitars, then their probably drinking and playing their banjos and guitars. But I think they’re biggest difference is that Solario love to say “yes” to the little oddities that life presents. For instance, if a poor boy with a great infection wants work for our buddy, Solario is all about it, while the ever-cautious Salanio remains a skeptic. It’s a dynamic that allows them to thrive and survive at the same time.

HID: Also, we don’t know how to ask this, but…what’s wrong with the Prince of Arragon?

JM: Well……. There are a few things at play with our buddy Arragon. First of all, he suffers from chronic Affluenza. He has never known a world in which he doesn’t get the material possessions he wants. That can be a serious detriment to mental and social development.

But at the same time, he hasn’t always gotten the emotional care that he needs. His passions have never been fostered. For instance, deep down, he’s always wanted to be a dancer, but his responsibilities to the family and the court have made that an impossibility. It’s hard being different in a world that values uniformity and the projection of strength. Also, the beauty that he sees in Portia has less to do with Portia herself, and more to do with those fierce garments she’s wearing. Jealous!!!!!!

If you made it this far, you passed the first test. The next is getting down to Westbeth to see Josh (and the rest of the HIDiots) in Merchant of Venice! Opening December 14th!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
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If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Michael Luca

For Michael Luca, one role's never enough. Whether he's playing a character who plays another character in a play within a play or pulling double duty like his Lorenzo/Gobbo track in this show, Michael's a guy who likes his plate full. And are we always willing to accommodate. Don't miss the man of a thousand faces (and voices and talents and words) in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice.

And this is only Face #874. Impressed yet?

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of each of your characters? And why?

ML:  My favorite color is purple because I think it’s rare to see and very pleasing to look at.  


Launcelot’s favorite color is gray because it lives happily between the two extremes of black and white: it is not forced to choose a side!
Lorenzo’s favorite color is dark blue: it’s sensitive, yet trusty, and can pass under the radar if need be.

HID: What do Lorenzo and Launcelot most have in common? What are their biggest differences?

ML: Lorenzo and Launcelot share a belief that a greater lifestyle awaits them just beyond their doorstep if they would only take a chance to be adventurous. Fortunately for them both, they do take those adventurous steps, and end better than where they began because of it. 

Their biggest difference is that Lorenzo would have run away from Shylock first chance he got! And he wouldn’t have to think twice about it.

HID: Who would win in a fight? Lorenzo, Launcelot, or The Wall?

ML: Wellllll, Launcelot is a pacifist, so he wins by default. Lorenzo respects Launcelot too much to ever dare strike him (he is vital to Lorenzo and Jessica eloping). Wall, though, he is on the side of indiscriminate justice: he would mess up Launcelot and Lorenzo in no time if he had to. He would even separate them, restricting their communication to whispers—which they could only speak with his permission.

In a battle of wits, however, Launcelot would run rhetorical circles around Wall and Lorenzo—albeit accidentally: when under immense pressure, he can make extremely deep observations about existence…he might have some difficulty when it comes to processing new information quickly, though…

HID: What’s been the most challenging part of this process for you? What’s been the easiest?

ML:  The most challenging part of this process has been constructing the “Fiend/Conscience” soliloquy with piano music.  Speaking text while playing music has been one of the more difficult challenges I’ve ever had to perform onstage.  The easiest part has been collaborating with the brilliant minds in the room.  Every one of my fellow actors (and the creative team, too!) has had something nuanced and interesting to add to this beautiful show.

Prepare to be impressed, as Michael Luca sing, dances, laughs, cries, & loves his way through Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice. You don't want to miss him (or the rest of the HIDiots) for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
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If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Leo Goodman

Fun fact: Leo Goodman was the first actor we saw in the room for our Merchant of Venice auditions. What was it about him that appealed to us and kept him in our minds all the way through the audition process? Was it his ease of emotional range and depth as an actor? Was it his understanding of the text both intellectually and emphatically? Was it his natural warmth and openness as a person? You'll have to come and decide for yourself at Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice, opening December 14th!

Trick question: it was that 'light-up-the-room' smile.

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

LG:  Mine’s green, like trees and grass.  His is turquoise, like the ring his wife gave him before they were married.

HID: Shylock’s a centuries-old character who’s been played by countless huge stars. In the play version of your life, who do you picture playing Leo Goodman?

LG:  Hopefully anybody with a full head of hair, but probably Paul Giamatti. 


HID: If you and Shylock are going out for a business lunch, where are you going and why? How does the meeting play out?

LG:  A Kosher deli, because if you’re gonna get pastrami Kosher is just better.  It all falls off the rails when I accidentally let slip that I love bacon.

HID: Any parting thoughts about your experience playing Shylock? Any ways he’s different than you initially imagined?

LG:  I’d never actually read or seen the play before.  All I knew was the few lines that everybody knows (If you prick us, do we not bleed).  The big surprise was that aside from that one part the character is, at first glance, written almost entirely as both a stereotype and a villain. The challenge is playing away from that, making him more than just bloodthirsty.  Which isn’t to say bloodthirsty isn’t fun.

Speaking of thirst, come slate yours (for theatre, not for blood) with Leo (and the rest of the HIDiots) at Merchant of Venice. Opening soon, and opening impressively!

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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Emily Loewus

"Jessica" may not be the most Shakespearean name, but she's a very Shakespearean character. She's strong, eloquent, and very, very lovely. And, wouldn't you know it, Emily Loewus is all of those things too! Read all about her below, then come see her as Jessica in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice. If you don't, its your loss; she'll still be up there exhibiting her amazingness!

Exhibit A. (The A stands for Amazing)

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

EL: I think both of our favorite colors are blue, but different shades. Mine is light, clear sky blue. Jessica loves royal blue. She likes the elegance and strength it conveys. 

HID: What’s the first thing Jessica wants to do when she’s out of her father’s house and able to experience the big, wide world?

EL: Go to Disney World! In all seriousness, Jessica does want to travel. She’s never left Venice, she’s never even seen the whole city. She wants to experience the world and meet new people, and do it all with her husband at her side.

HID: Jessica & Lorenzo are a pretty adventurous, romantic subplot. What’s the most romantic thing that’s happened in your life that you’re willing to tell us about?

EL: When my boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other in four months when I was studying in London, he came over at the very end. He beat me to my flat that night, covered the whole place in roses and candles and waited for me to get home. Walking in to see everything decorated so beautifully and him there was pretty incredible.

HID: Jessica says Launcelot improved her living situation with her father. How exactly did he do that?

EL: He gave her something she never had – friendship. She loves her father, but she doesn’t have anyone around who she can be honest with and laugh with. Launcelot is the one person whom she can trust to be herself around and tell her secrets too. Everyone needs that.

Well said, Emily. Won't YOU come and befriend Emily (and the rest of the HIDiots) at #HIDMoV? It's a show full of love, laughter, & learning, and you'd be a fool to let it go! See you there!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Michael Satow

Antonio begins The Merchant of Venice with "In sooth, I know not why I am so sad". We go on to learn what might be making him sad, and how all of that plays out. But you know what makes Michael Satow sad? People missing out on this season's most hilarious & heart-breaking story! Don't be one of those people. Read all about Michael's process below, then come see it for yourself at Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice.

"In sooth, I am too sexy for my shirt"

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? Any why?

MS: I don’t know why, but I’m always a bit uncomfortable to say I think brown may be my favorite. Forest Brown? Like leathers, woods, etc. Antonio would probably agree. He most likely worked his way up from the shipyard. And also he has to do what I say.

HID: What does Antonio usually do to get himself out of a funk when he’s sad (and knows not why)? What do you, Michael, do?

MS: Antonio is really active about his sadness. He puts his mind to helping the person he loves. He’s not much of a “think things through” guy, he just kind of works off his impulses. Doesn’t always have the best results though.

As for me, coffee usually helps. If that doesn’t work I throw on Hamilton.

HID: Antonio really puts himself out there for his friend. Have you ever undergone a big risk to benefit a friend?

MS: I offered all my Republican friends to fill out their election ballots for them. None of them took me up on it, but it’s the thought that counts.

HID: What’s next for Antonio at the play’s end?

MS: (SPOILER ALERT) Antonio and Shylock get their own spin-off.

If you don't know the show, DON'T READ THAT SPOILER! If you do, it's a good idea, right? You'd watch it. Whether you do or you don't, this is one production of the Bard's most problematic play you won't want to miss. Join Michael, and all the HIDiots, at Merchant of Venice, opening December 14th!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Freddie Stevenson

Freddie Stevenson, at least in his Struts & Frets interview, is a man of few words. That's probably because he's used up all of his words being amazing, and now he's exhausted. Besides the four albums Freddie's put out, he's also an amazing addition to the cast of Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice. Check him out here, give his music a listen, then have your ears caressed in person on December 14th!

Feel free to caress your eyes with this in the meantime.
...that came our creepier than we intended.

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? Any why?

FS: My favorite color is green, like trees and broccoli and money. Tubal’s favorite color is green too.

HID: There are obviously some odd & obscure rules in the legislature of Venice. If you were Duke of New York City, what’s the first thing you’d change?

FS: I would make everybody pay a pound of flesh to rent their apartments. It would be less painless than the current deal.

HID: What’s Tubal’s favorite thing about Shylock? What makes them such close compatriots?

FS: Shylock is an honest man. He is only trying to ride the system as it stands. Hats off to him.

HID: What are the biggest similarities and differences between Tubal and the Duke?

FS: Tubal is powerful, but he thinks he’s powerless. The Duke is powerless, but he thinks he’s powerful. 


Can't wait for more? Well, you don't have to for long! See Freddie, and all the HIDiots, in Merchant of Venice, opening December 14th!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Mary McNulty

Don't let Mary's name fool you. She's in no way quite contrary, she doesn't have any kind of lamb, nor is she part of the interjection used to wish people happy holidays. But what she IS is our Portia! And what a Portia she is. This is a very coveted role within the Shakespearean canon, and Mary makes it all her own. Check out her words below, then her actions in Merchant of Venice.

And her headshot too, if you're into that kind of thing.
Which, let's face it,  you are. (Pun intended)

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

MM:  I actually do not have a favorite color. I tend to go through color "phases". I'm currently on a grey tweed kick. Although tweed isn't a color.... Portia's favorite color is a lovely rust red. It feels regal, yet down to earth.

HID: In what ways is Portia different than you’d imagined her before playing the part? In what ways is she exactly what you’d expected?

MM: I was surprised to discover how nerdy and relatable Portia is. She's smart, attractive, and witty but doesn't flaunt these attributes. Portia has an inherent sense of status and duty because of her upbringing, but she is not a conventional woman of society. She knows how a lady should behave, but often gets flustered and goes on nervous tangents. She speaks her mind, letting her true self shine through which is what makes her strong, grounded, and ultimately successful. Going into this role, I knew Portia was sympathetic, very gutsy and brave. I mean, she disguises herself as a guy, runs away with her maid and saves the men! I would totally be friends with this Shakespearean Superwoman!

HID: When someone finally chooses the right box, what will Portia’s wedding theme and colors be?

MM: There will be no theme other than "wedding" as Portia has had enough rules and stipulations surrounding her marriage (i.e. the choosing of boxes)! The color scheme would be grey, lavender, and a deep blue, I think.

HID: If someone had to choose the right box to marry you, Mary, what would the three boxes be and which would your portrait be in?

MM: Oh man. I'm so glad that choosing the box containing my picture is not how my marriage will be decided. But if it was, this is how it would be: The first box would be rustic and natural, carved from a tree. The second would be an Annie's cheddar bunnies box, and the third would be a blue Tiffany's box. I'd be in the wooden one. Unless I get hungry, in which case I'd eat all the cheddar bunnies and put my picture there. 

You heard it here, folks! Or...read it, anyway. We're sure you enjoyed it either way. And you know what you'll enjoy even more? Seeing Mary McNulty (and all the HIDiots) live in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice! We open December 14th. See you there!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Samantha Maurice

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? If you're wise, it would be to turn into Samantha Maurice! But, for now, she's the only one, and she wields that extreme power very responsibly (most of the time). If you're not afraid of staring directly into the sun, check Sam out as Nerissa in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice!

Is this a HIDiot I see before me?
*Warning: Do not try to clutch by the handle*
 
HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

SM: My favorite color is spring green. I think Nerissa's favorite color is like a magenta/fuchsia type of deep pinky-purple, although that might just be because I have found myself wearing a lot of pink while I'm rehearsing.

HID: You’re a regularly-occurring HIDiot. If all of the characters you’ve played in Hamlet Isn’t Dead shows got in a fight, who would win? How does Nerissa fare?

SM: Okay so we've got a cage match between Nerissa, Holofernes, Katherine, Queen Ellizabeth, Tamora, and Bianca. So, this is going to escalate quickly.

I think Nerissa, Bianca and Katherine all gang up on Queen Elizabeth, so she gets knocked out, but the three of them are just no match at all for Tamora. However, ultimate winner has to be Holofernes who everyone discounts, cuz y'know she's a myopic, asthmatic, knock-kneed nerd. But Holofernes gets the last laugh, after Tamora has brutally murdered Nerissa, Bianca and Katherine, Holofernes prays her inhaler into Tamora's eyes, and then confuses her by lisping mis-quoted Latin at her, until Tamora becomes so blind and mad at not being able to understand that she stabs herself. All hail Holofernes.


HID: Besides Bassanio, who’s Nerissa’s second choice for Portia? Either from the play itself or the rest of Shakespeare’s canon.

SM: I think Nerissa would much prefer if Portia married Antonio, cuz he got dat cash money son, and also he seems super distracted by Bassiano which means Nerissa would get to keep Portia pretty much to herself. Although, I will say, Nerissa herself has a soft spot for the French lord, Monsieur LeBon--he's sexy.

Outside of the play, I think she might try to set Portia up with King Lear--he's very old and he seems easily swayed, so we could easily swoop in there, get Lear to leave Portia everything in the will (two of his three daughters are awful anyway) and then bada bing bada boom Portia is queen of Britain. Awesome.


HID: Nerissa’s a big part of Portia’s wooing process. Have you ever had the opportunity to play match-maker in real life?

SM: I have never played match-maker consciously, however, I live with two couples who have been together for at least three years and I was present when both of the couples met each other for the first time, so I might be a bit of a good luck charm. 

With that kind of track record, you have no excuse not to come celebrate #HIDMoV with Samantha and the rest of the HIDiots! She'll be bringing life and love to the stage in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice opening December 14th! See you there!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Merchant of Venice - Dylan Arredondo

It's the most wonderful time of the year! And by that, we mean time for more "Struts & Frets"! That's right, it's your favorite series of interviews with the best and brightest talents Hamlet Isn't Dead has to offer. Today's wonderful words have been offered up by none other than Dylan Arredondo, who plays Bassanio in our upcoming production of Merchant of Venice. Be warned: he plays #HIDMoV's romantic lead, and for good reason too! Check him out.

Are you a Star Trek? Cause that gaze is set to stun!

HID: First thing’s first: What’s your favorite color, and the favorite color of your character? And why?

DA: I like to think my favorite color is a crisp granny smith apple, but if I'm being honest with myself, it's black. I'm not quite sure why. It's kinda like a blank slate, but not as loud about it as white is. Noir -- it's classic, sophisticated, powerful. Other colors feel more empty and superficial or limiting, whereas black is so full of unknown things.
The Bassanio that starts the show is a man of excess and lavish; at risk of falling into stereotype, his favorite color might be gold or platinum. You'll have to see the show to find out if this Bassanio changes his favorite color by the end.

HID: We obviously loved your audition for Merchant. Can you tell us (and the readers) a little bit about it from your side?

DA: It was such a comfortable audition room, in terms of the friendly people in it, and such an uncomfortable audition room, in terms of the space itself. We auditioned in the Grand Hall of the Times Center, a monstrous ballroom that ate up my voices, my choices, and really threw me a curve ball. While trying to acclimate to the space as I was doing a prelim monologue from Love's Labour's Lost, I jostled up some words because of that split focus, which faltered my self-confidence a bit. So when y’all asked me to read the Bassanio side, I knew I had to go big or go home. And now we're here and that's how that story goes.

HID: Bassanio goes through a lot to end up with the love of his life. Has love ever caused you to do anything out of the ordinary?

DA: Gee, funny you should ask. One might say it has. It was nothing really. After winning a trip on a certain ship during a dockside card game, I spot a certain society girl on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé. She feels hopelessly trapped by her situation and contemplates suicide on the aft deck until I rescue her. We dine in first class. We dance in third class. I sketch her nude. Suddenly, the ship collides with an iceberg and begins to sink. Following several obstacles, all lifeboats have departed by the time we get to the deck. We ride the ship into the freezing ocean. I help her onto a wooden panel buoyant enough for only one person -- debatably. And I sacrifice myself to save her. Some call it the greatest love story every told. But yeah, that's probably one of the more extraordinary things I've done in the name of love.

HID: Do you think Bassanio handles everything in this story as well as he could? Or would you have any advice for him if he were able to do it all over again?

DA: It is apparent to me that Bassanio is a charmer: he gauges a room, assesses who he's dealing with, and knows how to craft his persuasion to that person very intuitively. So in that sense, he handles people remarkably well. But the fact that this is so present in the text also says that Bassanio frequently gets himself into sticky situations, which is how that charm has become so seasoned. He's a smooth talker -- emphasis on "talker," which gets him into trouble. He lives beyond his means and loves grandly. But, as is typical of the adventure and impulsivity of youth, his primary focus is himself and what he wants and what others can do for him. But he is very generous of spirit, to the fault that it's difficult for him to look much farther beyond the present moment. My advice: be a little more considerate of others along the way, rather than after-the-fact or as a second thought. Take an extra second to look at the big picture.

What more is there to say, other than 'Don't get on a ship with Dylan Arredondo in 1912'? Well, you can come say it to his face and hear him say lots of things too at Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merchant of Venice, opening December 14th! Whatever you do, don't miss it!
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Tickets are available at http://hidmov.bpt.me -- ON SALE NOW! Shows run Dec. 14th - 17th.

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Merchant of Venice: Dramatis Personae

Hold on to your heartstrings, everyone! The holidays are here and full of mirth, merriment, and music. Hamlet Isn't Dead's thirteenth mainstage production, The Merchant of Venice, will feature live music, tearful struggle, and joyful passion. Some consider Merchant a "problem play", but we like to think of it as an opportunity to explore a frighteningly relevant story from our modern sensibilities. One thing we can guarantee is that this will be different from any Merchant you've seen before!

Below are the eleven actors who will take your breath away this December. Let's check 'em out!


Hamlet Isn't Dead Presents
William Shakespeare's
The Merchant of Venice

directed by David Andrew Laws

Starring:

 
Leo Goodman as Shylock

Michael Satow* as Antonio

Mary McNulty* as Portia

Dylan Arredondo as Bassanio

Samantha Maurice* as Nerissa

Christopher Brown as Gratiano

Michael Luca as Lorenzo/Gobbo

Emily Loewus as Jessica

Joshua Mahaffey as Solario

Joshua H. Riffle as Salanio
and
Freddie Stevenson* as The Duke/Tubal

That's the whole crew. And, as you'll notice, some of *these actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. That's right, it's our first "Equity approved showcase", and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring you such a rollicking romantic romp this winter. Stay tuned here for more HIDiotic updates, and we'll see you soon!
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Tickets are already available HERE: http://HIDMoV.bpt.me. Get them while you can!
For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it. https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead


If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can. https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead


Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead 


Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Erin Etheridge

In a world...where one woman is in love with a man who's in love with another woman who's in love with a man.... Where faeries are free to drug innocent youths with no legal recourse.... A down & out brawl will break out in the woods that will change everything.... Erin Etheridge is.... A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Or, at least the "dream" part. Hubba hubba.

HID: First thing's first, what's your favorite color and your character's favorite color?

EE: My favorite color is blue -any shade! Helena also likes blue because she’s a sad forlorn love-starved little puppy lost, quite literally, in the woods. Her favorite shade of blue depends on whatever Demetrius prefers and when she finds that out, she will paint her whole life that color. Like, he’s gonna accidentally(ha! she’s been stalking him since forever) run into her at the grocery store and her entire body will be smurph blue because he mentioned once, last week, that he liked the cartoon as a kid.

HID: Helena claims to be as "ugly as a bear", but if she could shapeshift into any animal, what would it be and why?

EE: Helena would definitely be a bird because it would be much easier to fly over Demetrius wherever he goes, keep tabs on him, watch him through his bedroom window, perch on his shoulder and sing love songs to him. You know, normal boyfriend/girlfriend stuff.

HID: Do you have any advice for anyone out there who might be pursuing someone uninterested in them?

EE: Keep at it! Don’t give up! Follow them around. Laugh at all their jokes. Hang around outside their house. Tell them how much you adore them -All. The. Time. Make them things. Send them things. Tap on their window at night. Sing to them. Recite poetry. If you can, and you have to work up to this one…physically attach yourself to their body and don’t allow ANYTHING to remove you. [Editor's note: This is Erin's advice as Helena. Her real advice is much more...sane.]

HID: Now that Helena and Demetrius are married, where will they vacation?

EE: Oh. My. God. I am married to DEMETRIUS!!!!!   AaaaaahhhhhhSqueeeeeeeeeHoooooraaaayyyyyYabbaDabbaDooooHolyMolyCanYouBelieveItJoyJoyJoyJoyEeeeeeeeee!!!!! I don’t care where we go, I’m gonna vacation in his eyes for the rest of my life!!!!

The real scholars among you will recognize that as a passage from Shakespeare's 8th folio. Come see that level of commitment onstage from Erin Etheridge (and the rest of the HIDiots) in Hamlet Isn't Dead's A Midsummer Night's Dream, OPEN NOW!
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Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One week only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Morgan Hooper

If you've ever seen Morgan Hooper act before, you might not recognize him this time around. That's because he's usually playing with a crown on his head. With Hamlet Isn't Dead alone, he's played Henry VI, Richard II, and Prince Escalus in Romeo & Juliet, as well as King John, Leontes, and more, both at home and abroad. Can he scale down his regal stature to play the lovestruck Lysander? Come see the show and find out!

Odds are not in that noble brow's favor?

HID: First things first, what's your favorite color? What's your characters favorite color?

MH: Without a doubt my favorite color has always been red, whether that be classic red-red, burned red, rosy red or crimson. But Lysander is a complete contrast and only likes fire-engine red.

HID: So, not to get corny but you came to us straight from South Dakota (that's corn country right?). If Lysander were let loose in an empty Walmart in South Dakota what shenanigans would he get up to?

MH: You know, Lysander might seem like a total Marco Rubio-Ferris Bueller-hybrid-dillbag... but that's just a misunderstanding. He's totally the salt of the earth. He's just a Teddy Graham with the heavy burden of being the coolest dude ever, ya know? So, if he was rollin' with the Children of the Corn, he'd be having a blast. You might see him tearin' through aisle 8 on his skateboard, but he could just as easily be helping 94 year-old, Goody Smith find the Jimmy Dean's in the frozen. It's all about, like, point of view. And humanity. And, like, love.

HID: You are an unabashed Shakespeare nerd but if you had to choose another playwrights' works to perform who would you choose?

MH: Hm, there are actually several playwrights I love, ranging from classic to modern to the strange and avant garde, including: Chekov, O'Neill, Donald Margulies, Adam Rapp, Howard Barker and Michel de Ghelderode. I'm also a big fan of devised plays and classic tales from India and the Orient.

HID: What are Lysander's A-Plus sure fire moves for winning over a lady?

MH: That's easy. If my super bodacious red sunglasses don't get' em right away, it's usually a variation of "Whoa." I'll be like, "Whoa," or "Like..Whoa," or "Hey, Whoa," or "Whoa, Babe". Or sometimes if I can see there's something, like, special, I'll be like, "Hey, girl, like, whoa, we should  go down to the beach and, like, have a totally deep and meaningful conversation, ya know?" Chicks love that.

We can't argue with that! And you won't be able to either when you catch Morgan Hooper (and the rest of the HIDiots) at Hamlet Isn't Dead's A Midsummer Night's Dream, OPEN NOW!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One weekend only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Josh Mahaffey

Josh Mahaffey is a guitar-playing, smile-sharing, Honorificabilitudinitatibus-saying Mechanical like you wouldn't believe. If his constantly-warm demeanor doesn't win you over, his string picking skills will. How could you not love a man who made his own ukulele and is willing to put up with the HIDiots for his third production? Please enjoy, Josh Mahaffey as Quince and Moth!

But seriously, how could you not?

HID: First things first, what's your favorite color and what's your character's favorite color?

JM: Oh I just adore the struts and the frets!

My favorite color remains blue! Blue as bluest horse that yet would never tire! Or... something more clever.

Peter Quince’s favorite color is green. Peter would like nothing more than to spend his days rehearsing plays on a field of green green grass surrounded by trees growing with green green leaves, occasionally yielding the space to rival lovers spying on each other with green green envy.  And sometimes he visits Puck to buy some green green..... um, actually never mind.


HID: Peter Quince seems to thrive amidst a brotherhood. If he could rush a frat what would it be and why?

JM: Yes PQ is very much in need of camaraderie, but I think he'd want to make a new one and be in charge of it. His life values are Respect, Resilience, and Rehearsals in the woods, so he would name his brotherhood Rho Rho Rho ;) Of course, he wouldn't call his Fraternity a "Frat", because you don't call your country a - well, you know.

Oh, one more thing. If he did form 3-Rho, it would be a performance-based Fraternity dedicated to the education of college campuses on the prevention of sexual assault. Because, Peter and I believe greek organizations should be fierce advocates for student safety, not breeding grounds for sexual predators. Next question.


HID: If Peter Quince were to write a rock opera, what would it be called and what would it be about?

JM: Eager to capitalize on the instant (and honestly surprising) success of Pyramus and Thisby, he is currently adapting the play to a Broadway rock-opera. Working titles include "The Raging Rocks", "Parts Discharged", and "50 Shades of Loam." Cast includes (pending responses) Lin Manual Miranda as Pyramus, Neil Patrick Harris as Thisby, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson as The Wall.


HID: What is your favorite song to play on guitar? What's Peter Quince's favorite band?

JM: Favorite song to play on the guitar? That’s a toughie. But I’m going to have to say, even after all these years, Pinball Wizard still tops the list. Nothing else quite captures the excitement and satisfaction that power chords can bring to a person.

Quince’s favorite band is Spinal Tap. What can he say? He’s a sucker for general incompetency excused by constant hilarity, raw talent, and deep friendship.


We too are suckers for general incompetency! If you are too, we've got more than enough to share at A Midsummer Night's Dream, opening June 29th! Come see Josh (and the rest of the cast) or be square!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One weekend only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.

Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream - Megan Greener

You know that feeling when you're alone at night and you hear a sound from the other side of the house? You tiptoe down the hall, turning on every light before entering the room. You swear you hear the laughter of a demon child echoing against the walls. Your shaking hands reach around the corner to flick on the light switch only to see...Megan Greener in polka-dotted pajamas cackling about bulldog photos on Instagram! Yeah, this blog post is something like that.

We're already open to proposals for a gritty reboot.

HID: First things first, what's your favorite color and what's your character's favorite color?

MG: Woof, not to make a very simple, friendly question more complicated, but I always feel like my choice somehow adequates to who I am as a person! Am I the only one who feels that way? I am? Great. A glimpse into my general psychology, everyone. Imagine me figuring out what to make for breakfast, or what to wear outside of my apartment. My opinions always change, but at the moment, I like anything between a nice Kelly green and a forest green (pretentious, yes?), because it's soothing... This is mainly coming from someone who needs a vacation, so anything soothing is a lovely thing. For Hermia, I think red is a general favorite of hers. Or at least anything with a lot of red in it, because she clearly lives, loves, and feels passionately - she most likely even sees some red when she doesn't get what she wants - and I think red embodies all of that.

HID: So, many HID fans may not realize that you're a third-degree black belt, which basically makes you a ninja. Do you employ any of your dojo discipline to the fight scenes or in real life?

MG: Am I a ninja? I guess that would make me the most rusty ninja in town, then. I think our Lysander (aka, Morgan Hooper, a current Kendo extraordinaire) qualifies for that title much more than I do. I began studying Tang Soo Do at around age 6 or 7, then moved onto Taekwondo not long after, and kept my training up consistently until my junior year of college, when I had earned my third degree black belt and was instructing by then. But, I was also a theatre major at that point, and doing them both at the same time at the rate I was going became too difficult, so I ultimately had to give all my focus to theatre and acting.

I think the only trace of Taekwondo you'll see from me in the show is during an interesting little moment between Demetrius and Hermia out in the middle of the woods, and then maybe the way Hermia slowly stalks Helena - like a prey, if not a sparring partner - after the lover's quarrel has just ended. As for real life, I've been lucky so far, and hope I never end up  in the position of having to use anything I've learned (knock on wood). Best case scenario, if anything ever happened, I'd probably end up using a messy combination of actual technique and just sheer animal instinct. When you've trained, certain things of course never leave you; but you've also ingrained the idea that you're not looking for anyone to fight, ever. You try to make that the last option possible, before it's absolutely needed. In the end, it's all just a practical means of self-defense and self-care - and also just happens to be a gorgeous art form to watch, which is what I was always more drawn to as a student, anyway.

HID: What does Hermia want to be when she grows up?

MG: At the moment, since I think she's a "live in the now" kind of person, she just wants to be married to the man whom she loves. That's priority number one. Once that's happened, however, the world is her oyster. Maybe she'll grow to be a quintessential aristocratic lady, with whatever responsibilities that comes with, or maybe she'll open up a chain of serious self-defense schools, or maybe even a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for equal rights - since that whole "marry Demetrius or be put to your death" stunt that good ol' Dad pulled didn't quite go over so well. Who knows? (I'm leaning towards the third option.) With the money she already has, and the money she'll be marrying into, she might have the time and means for all three.

HID: In the show, Hermia has bad dream about a snake eating her heart. What was your most memorable dream recently and what do you think it symbolizes?  

MG: Yikes. Just this past week, I had a dream that one of my acting coaches, who is now the senior acting instructor at the studio where I trained, had attended some sort of... bad, avant-garde performance that I was apart of... I can't even describe it, mainly because I can't remember. I think I was sitting with others around a dining room table during it? With Jon Hamm? I think he was there.

Anyway, my teacher was just not having it, and was a breath way from walking out, and I could feel that as I was... doing whatever I was doing. I have no idea what that dream could mean. I've been out of acting school for a few years now, but the feeling of knowing that you're just crashing and burning in front of your acting teachers is all too familiar, and probably will never leave me. With that said - come see me as Hermia! She'll be sitting at a dining room able at some point! ...Nah, just kidding, she'll just get lost in the woods, as usual.

You heard the lady! Get on down to the woods (of the West Village) and check out Megan Greener (and the rest of the cast) in A Midsummer Night's Dream, opening June 29th!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One weekend only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Struts & Frets - Interview with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream: Rhys McClelland

Ladies and gentlemen, it is our great pleasure to introduce Rhys McClelland! And it's Rhys' great pleasure to introduce our Struts & Frets series for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Rhys has the great honor of playing Puck and Egeus in our production, and we have the great honor of playing with him. And you have the greatest honor of all: reading all about this wonderful, wonderful man! Enjoy!

We wonder what the wonderful wonder wonders.

HID: First thing's first: What's your favorite color, and what's your character's favorite color?

RM: My favorite colour would probably be red. Until recently I wouldn't have said that and would have replied 'green' or 'tan' or something equally neutral...but I'm evolving!

Puck's favorite colour would depend on who is asking I think...and then when you bought him a lovely new hat in that colour he'd pretend he said something else!


HID: Puck as a penchant for the odd rhyming couplet. Who's your favorite poet and why?

RM: Definitely Rudyard Kipling purely for 'If' and 'My Boy Jack'

That said, although not strictly a poet William Babington Macauly's 'Horatius at the Bridge' is thrilling and has some memorable lines...


HID: If Egeus were to plan Hermia's wedding to Demetrius, what would the theme be? What kind of cake would they have?

RM: The theme would be chastity! There would be no cake, well not for Hermia! In fact Egeus would probably have all the women go home right after the ceremony to sew and to try to resist forming any opinions, while he and Demetrius smoked cigars and ate a Victoria sponge cake so as to not get over excited...

HID: If you could have any of Puck's powers, what would you choose? Would you use your powers for good or evil?

RM: Probably putting a girdle about the earth in 40 minutes because I'd save a fortune on flights home to the UK! And it wouldn't take all night...

Although...being invisible would be awesome! (Actually invisible though, not just the kind of invisible you experience on the subway and on 5th avenue on a Saturday)...I would love to say I'd use it for good, but I have to be honest and say I'm not sure I would...I'd see a lot of free ball games, many free shows and would play all kinds of tricks on people, so much like puck really.


He may be a trickster, but Rhys is clearly very visible, and you should come see him (and the rest of the Midsummer cast!) at A Midsummer Night's Dream, opening June 29th!
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Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One weekend only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

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Struts & Frets - Interviews with the Cast & Crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream: Kevin Percival

Kevin Percival is a long time HIDiot (And we mean that in the kindest way possible). He's played with us before in The Taming of the Shrew and the Henry VI trilogy, and if we have anything to say about it, this won't be the last time he joins us. In this production, he plays the majestic Theseus and the magical Oberon. You can watch him sing, dance, and twiddle about onstage, but only after you've read all about him!

Did someone spill some Love in Idleness in here
or is it just us?

HID: So first thing's first, what's your favorite color? What's your character's favorite color?

KP: Mine is green. Theseus is partial to purple. Oberon's favorite is whatever you want it to be, hot stuff.

HID: So Oberon is all about drugging the mortals, but if he had a drug of choice, what do you think it would be?

KP: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

HID: If Oberon were ever to deign to do some karaoke what would his power song be? What duet would he perform with Titania?

KP: Power song? Tiptoe Through The Tulips. Oberon would hypnotize Bottom to strum the uke. Unless, hm, Titania might think ukulele is lame. Maybe Bottom can shred a Stratocaster? Titania and Oberon don't really duet much anymore, and the last time they went to karaoke she sang some Carly Simon song. Oberon is pretty sure it was about him. 


HID: Theseus really is into Amazons. If he could order anything next day delivery of Amazon Prime, what would it be?

KP: A "Do Not Disturb" sign. 

He may be the king of Faeries, but you should disturb him all you want! Come disturb him and the rest of the cast at A Midsummer Night's Dream, opening June 29th!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tickets are available at http://hidsummer.bpt.me -- One weekend only! June 29th - July 2nd!

For more information, you can visit http://www.hamletisntdead.com, and be sure to subscribe to our Mailing List while you're there.

If you haven't Liked us already on Facebook, now is the time! All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.facebook.com/HamletIsntDead

If Twitter's more your speed, we have that too. We just want to please you any way we can.https://twitter.com/hamletisntdead

Or to see us in action, you can check us out (and subscribe, hint, hint) at https://www.youtube.com/user/hamletisntdead

Basically, if you want to follow us, you just put hamletisntdead after something. And why wouldn't you want to follow us?? We're a lot of fun, we promise.