project 365

195. Bootleg.

Attended my first Bootleg Shakespeare performance by the Taffety Punk Theatre Company tonight.

It’s a wonderful concept: the actors get the scripts ahead of time to memorize their lines, but only have one rehearsal to nail it all down before they perform. That results in some forgotten lines, hilarious costuming and staging and one of the most entertaining theatre experiences I’ve ever had.

Here’s how they explain it on their website:

Too often, productions of Shakespeare in our culture are precious, overly conceptualized, stagey, and frankly, boring. By throwing ourselves into the fray on a bare stage with the minimum of rehearsal time and mise en scene, we in the Bootleg shows have to rely on a visceral connection to the play and the audience to carry us through and the results are always electrifying.

This year’s show was “Pericles,” which I’ve never seen. That the company could turn something that I know nothing about into such fun is quite a feat.

Well done, Taffety Punk, and can’t wait until next year.

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