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Can Acting Make You Smarter?

Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s Green Tea and Little Green Tea participants are half-way through their Shakespeare Bootcamp, in preparation for their production of John Fletcher and Philip Massinger’s The Sea Voyage . During this Bootcamp, the youth are learning about Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and the history around The Sea Voyage. They are also exploring acting techniques, such as play analysis, character analysis, and improvisation, among many other topics. And while this may surprise many, we also talked about grammar! 

When the students started their Bootcamp this past Tuesday with a basic overview of the play, suffice it to say they were a little confused about what was going on. One the second day, they examined the first scene through the lens of play analysis. By slowing picking through all the details, their knowledge and understanding of the world of the play increased. On the third day, we did an overview of basic grammar rules. By paying close attention to the grammar used in the scene, the students learned more about what their characters were feeling, and how the lines were meant to be delivered. 

At the end of this grammar lesson, the kids performed the first scene. It was amazing to see the character choices coming through, as they could make informed decisions on how to perform their role based on what they had learned through scene analysis and grammar study. In our end of class debrief, the students acknowledged how much better they understood what they read now, than they had on the first day of Bootcamp. The tools they developed in just those few days are crucial reading comprehension skills, and ones that most of us, if we are being honest, could stand to work on! But this learning process is not exclusive to the youth involved in our Green Tea programs. We frequently start the rehearsal process for our adult productions in a similar method, taking time to work through the text, to ensure all those involved in the play understand what is happening and why. Because when the actors and production team understand the text, it makes the text that much more accessible to the audience. So if you want a chance to work on your grammar or reading comprehension, come and join us. We’d love to learn alongside you, and from you!

 

By Francis Beaumont

Adapted by: Amanda M. Rogus

A theatre company’s journey takes an unexpected turn as they attempt to perform their play, THE LONDON MERCHANT. Moments after the show begins, a couple in the audience interjects as they rewrite the story to star their own son, Rafe. As the play continues, this meta-theatrical wonderment evolves into a spin on The Knight’s Tale and Love Triangle with a plot driven by adventure.

Performed February 13, 2021

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The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Love for Love

By William Congreve

After enjoying one too many nights on the town, Valentine is dead broke. When his disapproving father threatens to cut him off, Valentine devises an elaborate scheme to reclaim his inheritance. Unfortunately, his plan hinges on the fiery young heiress, Angelica, who is nowhere near convinced that Valentine wants to marry her for love. Recorded on Zoom in a single afternoon, this one-shot table read of William Congreve’s Restoration smash-hit, LOVE FOR LOVE, reunites the cast of Congreve’s THE WAY OF THE WORLD for a final encore.

Performed January 16th, 2020

CAST

 Valentine Benjamin Apple

Jeremy Bryson David Hoff

Scandal Tyrone Kiaku

Steward / Servant Julian Aikens-Helford

Tattle Jamie Sanders

Mrs. Frail Emily Garrison

Foresight Roger Lipson

Nurse Amanda M. Rogus

Angelica Claire F. Martin

Sir Sampson Legend Simon Kaplan

Mrs. Foresight Alexandra Stroud

Miss Prue Siena Brown

Ben Robbie Diaz

Jenny Sarah Duttlinger English

Buckram Timothy R. Fitch

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It’s carnival season in Naples, Italy, and Hellena wants to attend. There are just a few problems: her sister’s forbidden romance with an English soldier has put them both under house arrest and Hellena herself is promised to a nunnery. What’s a clever young lady to do? Sneak out of the house in masquerade, of course! And maybe, just maybe, fall in love. Aphra Behn’s dazzling Restoration comedy gets a modern makeover in this freely adapted audio drama, featuring actors from across North America.

Zoom Performance: November 7th, 2020

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The Rover

Samuel Coleridge believed that the three best plots in literature were Oedipus Rex, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, and Ben Jonson’s early modern play, The Alchemist. Set amidst a time of plague, three swindling rogues, Face, Subtle, and Doll Common, set up shop in the house of their master, who has fled from London to the country to escape the pandemic. As the cons and dupes pile up, the three try to maintain their ruses with a series of disguises, tricks, and double-crosses. Full of extravagant language, farcical action, and comic hijinks, The Alchemist was performed by The King’s Men in Shakespeare’s time, and has had many successful revivals with its combination of sharp wit and unrelenting momentum.

Cast

Hannah Adrian, Rotimi Agbabiaka, Karen Alvarado, Susan Bennett, Patrick M. Bentley, Diana Guizado, Kat Hermes, Daniel L. Keegan, James Loehlin, Katie Logan, Brett Sullivan Santry, Reagan Tankersley, Ania Upstill, David Higbee Williams.

Performed January 23, 2021

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The Alchemist

By George Etherege

Strapping English bachelor Dorimant has a problem. Three of them, in fact. His affair with a married woman is getting tedious, his seduction of her best friend is getting complicated, and—worst of all—he seems to be falling in love with the only woman in London who can’t abide him. Toss in a snarky best friend, a few wily dames, a French dandy, and one mortifying love triangle, and it’s a recipe for chaos. George Etherege’s gleeful Restoration satire bursts to life in this audio drama adaptation, featuring actors from across North America.

Performed December 19th, 2020

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The Man of Mode