April 4, 2015

With the Mad King. . .

Four previews in our Sebastopol studio, and now back into rehearsal. Some responses:

The show is magical. It made me cry.

The puppets are gorgeous.

It was thrilling.

The puppets were all artistically magnificent.

It was masterful.

So incredibly creative and effective. I loved the intimate compactness of the performance.

What a spectacular tour de pocket force. All of Lear in a space the size of a walk-in closet.

The Edgar to Tom transformation — profound. And the Fool reaching up to Lear in his despair and madness, and putting a hand on his heart.

Very, very compelling. Feel quite privileged to have seen this.

An amazing not-to-be-missed show. I loved every minute of the dark places, the vulnerability and the madness. All hail to the tragedy which describes the depth of human emotion toward an awesome end.

Extraordinary and unique.

The actual age of the performers, weathered, mature, lent high seriousness to each gesture: they understood the stakes and the consequences.

The 100 minutes flew by.

This staging of the Shakespeare play may be physically smaller than the productions you’re used to seeing, but the tragedy remains as large as ever.

In the interest of full disclosure: we also had many suggestions about things that weren’t clear, notes preceded by “the only thing that…” That’s what previews are for, and every response, pro or con, has led to a train of thought and new chiropractic adjustments.

Will we have an audience? Who knows? We have an excellent publicist, some features and interviews, but we’re fairly unknown in San Francisco and running opposite a celebrated Bay Area performer Geoff Hoyle who’s doing a piece based on Lear’s Fool (excellent, by the way). Not sure how many people want to make a visit to Lear twice in one month. But who can say? This is the launch of it, and we intend to be in it for the long haul, at least until the Duke of Albany looks our way and says, “Bear them from hence.”

Rash Acts—

In 1989, we published a collection of 18 dramatic sketches that had been part of the tour repertory of The Independent Eye, and before that of Theatre X, for many years. Last year, we sold the final copy. Sketches from that collection have been staged by theatres, colleges and schools throughout the country — one even made into a film in Argentina.

Now, a new edition, expanded to 35 unique comedies, nightmares, and quirky portraits drawn from 45 years of touring. For us, they offer the pleasure of good short stories stripped down to the essence of the human interplay they reflect — no character descriptions, so you can cast them with the faces of your favorite friends, enemies, and exasperating relatives.

It’s 265 pp., paperbound, $16.95 plus shipping. Order through our website.