Just finished one of the most difficult summers I’ve had as well as the most excellent Tempest, which exceeded my ambitious vision. I’m so proud of the work everyone put in. From the bursting energy of the storm to Prospero commanding attention (and applause) from the audience every night, the Theatre Under The Trees Tempest was an amazing run of theatre, Shakespeare and wonder.
Joan Jett has just released ‘Any Weather’, a single from her upcoming album, ‘Unvarnished,’ which is the perfect song for the summer/year I’ve had and Gayle and the people who chose to be right there with me. Thank you.
Other news…hmmmm. The Dollyrots are having a baby and creating a new album. The Dollyrots seem to be the band Gayle and I most overlap about. Couldn’t catch their last two StageIt concerts because of The Tempest but looking forward to next week’s.
In a music mood. Hoping we can swing Halestorm tickets in September. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo are coming to town. Enjoyed her book. Doesn’t look like Joan Jett’s doing anything local besides the Shindig Festival, which is too costly and crowded for a date day.
I will leave you with a couple of storm photos so you can get a feel for the energy and my Director’s Note from The Tempest program:
The night I’m writing this is the first time we put music and acting and dance together. And there were some glitches, some stumbles and some moments when I thought ‘this might work.’ And moments when I thought the opposite and shredded a few pieces of paper. But the entire rehearsal, I was in the middle of a group of people working very hard to put together complex and ambitious ideas. Inspiring. And so, even after a difficult day, I have faith that what you see on stage tonight will connect you to these amazing characters of William Shakespeare’s on a very human level.
Theatre is a collaborative genre. This year, I’ve made an effort to invite other artists into my creative process. It started with writing about The Nutcracker, watching Bunheads and thinking seriously about dance. Then Gayle agreed that New Orleans might work as a musical mood and my Twitter buddy, @KristynBurtt gave me some advice on choreographers to take a look at. After that, I asked Kim Greenawalt to return for another summer and she agreed to work her movement interpretation of The Tempest around my vision. It’s been a #teamtempest effort since January or so, with Rebecca, Paula and then the cast, dancers and crew all adding their energy and talents to create the Theatre Under The Trees vision of Shakespeare’s magical isle and its inhabitants.
Our hope is that the stories and characters you hear and see tonight will make you laugh, touch you with a moment of sadness, bring forth memories of people who helped (or hindered) you on your journeys. William Shakespeare in his plays left a treasure of knowledge about human character, good, bad, silly, callow, striving, loving, et alia. Tonight, we are honored to present one of his brightest dark chapters, a lyrical adventure that takes you from storm tossed to rescued.
Michelle Denise Norton