When That I Was at Shadow Theatre. Solo actor Christopher Hunt plays Jack Rice, nephew of Will Shakespeare, recounting his days int he theatre at the height of Shakespeare's career. We were treated to a multitude of characters and stories as Hunt shifted seamlessly from queen to playwright to Earl, all as they were seen through the eyes of his younger self. I was very impressed with the tightness of the production. Hunt himself is a gifted story-teller from within the piece. I must commend the brilliant lighting design (Terry Gunvordahl) which works so well with Hunt to create the quick shifts in time and space seamlessly sweeping the audience up in the story. There are many, many fascinating characters in the play, all played by Hunt as Jack Rice. We see Shakespeare in love and jealous and disappointed and resigned. We meet Kemp and Burbage and other actors of the troupe. We even meet Queen Elizabeth. It's a great piece for those who love the Bard, for those who love theatre, for those who appreciate the history of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras into the Puritans, and for those who love a great story-teller. It also had a few subtle underlying comments about censorship and the political role of artists. It is on at Shadow Theatre until March 24th so catch it if you can.
On Saturday night I attended a very different evening of storytelling. I caught the APN reading of Secrets by new playwright Jacqueline Dumas. It was wonderful to hear the whole play read bu two wonderful actors, Alison Wells and Gisele Lemire. There is something very cool about being able to hear the development of a play as it moves on its journey to completion. I was in a writing circle with Jacqueline in the Spring and have really enjoyed watching the progress of the piece. It blows me away that this is her first play. I hope to see it fully staged someday soon!