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Annapolis Shakespeare Company Transforms Theatre!

Apr 09, 2015 04:30PM ● By Melissa Lauren
By Melissa Lauren

Professional Theatre presented by Annapolis Shakespeare Company proves to be a sensible and entertaining choice. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility runs through May 3rd at Annapolis Shakespeare Company.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company transforms theatre! Professional Theatre presented by Annapolis Shakespeare Company proves to be a sensible and entertaining choice. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility adapted by Jon Jory and directed by Sally Boyett runs through May 3rd.

Sense and Sensibility is a story of two sisters captivated by very different men and their adventures and misadventures falling in and out of love. Elinor is the sensible, kind, and thoughtful sister and the impulsive Marianne always acts on feelings before thinking things through. The sisters are forced to rely upon themselves and one another to weather heartache. They learn that when sense and sensibility meet, love can't be far behind.

I attended the opening night performance of Sense and Sensibility and was thoroughly impressed by the caliber of acting from the entire cast. I usually play a fun game of comparing notes with a friend during intermission; Who is the scene stealer? I can honestly say without a doubt, everyone pulled their weight equally in the performance and no one actor overshadowed the next. Performing Jane Austen’s language is not an easy task. Sometimes, with Shakespeare it is easy to skate by on the iambic pentameter and singsongy nature of the dialogue. However, Austen’s language requires precision and accurate inflection. The actor needs to speak the dialogue almost as an acrobat flips through the air being careful to stick the landing. Jon Jory adapted the novel combined with the work of Nancy Krebs, Voice and Dialect coach, along with direction from Sally Boyett made for a winning collaboration that allowed the actors to shine.

Director, Sally Boyett is a Renaissance Woman of many talents including being trained as a Classical Ballerina. It was a nice touch to see beautiful choreography incorporated in the play as well as balanced blocking of the actors’ fluid movement on stage. Even the scene changes were synchronized. The period costumes were fantastic and as sophisticated and dynamic as the actors’ performances! Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy is sure to please the entire family. Tickets are $30-35 with discounts for seniors and students. For more information visit Annapolisshakespeare.org or call 410-415-3513.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company transforms theatre with hopes to transform a Downtown Annapolis location into their new home.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company is the only fully professional theatre company in the area dedicated to producing Shakespeare and the classics. Their mission is to produce entertaining and accessible interpretations of classical and contemporary plays and musicals, works of Shakespeare, and other major dramatists. With a commitment to a high level of artistic excellence cultivating the widest possible audience, their goal is to contribute to the economic and cultural growth of our community. Annapolis Shakespeare Company provides educational artist-in-residence programs, pre-professional training, and internship programs. Their current internship program is limited since it can only accommodate 5-6 students. With a bigger facility they can invite as many as 15-20 interns to learn first-hand what it takes to run a professional theatre. These kinds of experiences teach life lessons and are life-changing as they can impact a student’s future career. ASC wants to continue to give back to the community.

Annapolis Shakespeare Company hopes to transform a Downtown Annapolis location into their new home. Their current facility at Chinquapin Round Road only seats 75. Due to parking restraints they cannot perform daytime matinees. If they move to a bigger space, they can not only give more performances but have a space for the community available for rental with an art gallery, sculpture garden, and 200 seat theatre on the top floor. According to Sally Boyett, Producing Artistic Director and founder of Annapolis Shakespeare Company, “Having this new facility would provide a space big enough for a teaching space on the first floor with a resident costume designer and costume design apprenticeship program”. ASC has provided 16 classes including acting, voice, and stage combat since 2011 for Anne Arundel County Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Magnet program. They could teach more students and make a greater positive impact in our community in a bigger space.

Boyett stresses the fact they would restore a building and maintains it would remain historically accurate, “We wouldn’t do anything to change the historical integrity of a building. We are excited about this opportunity because we know that Shakespeare Companies in Washington, D.C., Utah, London and Argentina have revitalized their cities with the arts and we would like to do the same. We would like to make Annapolis a destination city for the arts and help grow the local economy.”

“The Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission supports Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s interest in securing a permanent home in [Downtown] Annapolis. Many recent national surveys have demonstrated the value of the arts as one of the top factors contributing to the economic fiber of a community. Maryland, according to information released by the Maryland Arts Council, ranks among the highest of States in performing arts attendance with 50% of its population engaged as compared with a 37% national average. A 2009 City Task Force on the Value of the Arts to Annapolis cited the Arts as the future economic security for the City. A Downtown Annapolis location will bring an added and new vitality to the historic City. Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s proposal is the right fit for a City once known as the Athens of America and for a City that is today a cultural gem that attracts four million visitors a year.” 
Ellen Moyer, former Mayor of Annapolis

“A performing arts venue is appropriate for the economic benefits this type of use will bring to the City of Annapolis. This will also expand performance venues for downtown and add to our tourism.” 
April Nyman, Executive Director, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County

“A new location of Annapolis Shakespeare Company… will help draw visitors, residents and patrons to the historic district and create linkages to the businesses in Eastport and throughout the historic core of Annapolis.” 
Robert C. Clark, President and CEO, Historic Annapolis

“Having worked at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London since 1984, I am only too aware of how arts organizations can completely transform and regenerate a city. As well as acting as a catalyst for economic regeneration, a company such as Annapolis Shakespeare Company will help to transform lives through a number of education programs for people of all ages that will only be possible if they secure new premises. Providing Annapolis Shakespeare Company with [a new] building will provide a significant economic and educational impact.” 
Patrick Spottiswoode, Director, Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London

Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s 2015 Season

The 2015 season includes works of Shakespeare and other literary classics as Annapolis Shakespeare Company presents the world premiere of Servant of Two Masters in the outdoor courtyard at Reynolds Tavern May 19th – September 29th.

Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed outdoors at St. John’s College May 29th – June 28th. A new adaptation of Dickens’ masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities will be performed July 10th – August 2nd at ASC’s Chinquapin Round Road location. And just in time for Halloween, the world premiere of Poe will be performed at Reynold’s Tavern October 7th – November 25th.

To view more events taking place this weekend, please browse our Online Calendar at whatsupmag.com/calendar  Be sure to Follow What’s Up? on Twitter, Instagram, and Like Us on Facebook  For coverage of your community event, please send press releases to mlauren@whatsupmag.comMelissa Lauren, Community Events Editor, writes the weekly What’s Up? Events Blog and E-Newsletter every Thursday. To subscribe visit WhatsUpMag.com.