Author Topic: Doing Shakespere at Faire  (Read 2235 times)

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Offline The Lady Mercedes

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Doing Shakespere at Faire
« on: March 25, 2010, 04:09:21 AM »
Some friends & I got copies of Macbeth last yr. hoping to be able to act it out at Faire (no costumes or props per say, just us acting out the parts really), but it was too soon & not enough practice so it didn't pan out. Not sure if we can do it this yr. either but for the future, should we decide to give it a go, would we be able to do this just ourselves or would we need to ask the powers that be 1st? Thanks in advance! :)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 04:10:31 AM by The Honorable Lady Benton »
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Offline Fugli

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 07:56:59 AM »
That entirely depends on your faire. Random acts of Shakespeare have been known to break out in a bunch of faires set in public venues (like parks) where there is extra room and the faire is basically a public community event. If it's a private faire, you probably want to get on the schedule.

For the sheer size of the effort, if you were going to act out an entire play that could take over an hour or two, you might want to schedule it and announce it ahead of time. I've seen many of Shakespeare's plays condensed to ten minute shorts by improv groups, some random, but many are affiliated with the faire and commissioned to perform them during lulls. I do a few, including Macbeth, in less than 4 minutes myself, but it's all in song.

It never hurts to check with the faire board, however it may be organized.
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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 10:37:25 AM »
Love MacBeth, I'm in a show of it opening tomorrow!

I would recommend checking with the faire first. Different faires have different policies regarding performers and acts, and as a courtesy to the faire's cast and to avoid stepping on anyone's toes or confusing their patrons, it would be a good idea to get clearance first. Who knows, maybe they'll bring you on as an act!


Offline iain robb

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 08:08:10 AM »
I with you luck. I'd love to see more Shakespeare and other period productions at Faires. Sure, I enjoy the modernized music and the comedy and all that. It just seems there isn't much room for anything that resembles real theater.

One of my most pleasant memories involves going to Faire with my oldest daughter and watching a snippet of one of the Bard's plays.

Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 10:36:01 AM »
I would strongly suggest you not walk into a faire and just start performing, as most festivals will ask you to leave without thinking twice about it. If you want to do something like this, contact the entertainment director in advance (around the time they announce auditions) and see if they would be amenable.

Offline Baron Dacre

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 04:28:48 PM »
Southern seems to be a bit more permissive when it comes to allowing it's patrons in performing. Compared to one faire that shall remain nameless, when I suggested I was coming to visit and would like to read poetry in the streets (period and period-ish, stuff I wrote, my character's stuff and period poets), the way one of the performers acted you would have thought I was threatening to kill babies in the streets!

Generally if you don't use a stage (not all stages are platforms - Court and the Maypole are considered "stages", don't expect compensation (no pass the hat!), and don't drown out the acts that actually work there, REP doesn't seem to complain.

We often have school groups performing music in our streets and (as far as I'm aware) they haven't been approved.

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Offline BubbleWright

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 05:52:29 PM »
Ditto what Colleen said. Definitely check with the Faire as to their policy on entertainment done by patrons. Some Faires even post rules on their web pages. The following is from the Maryland Renaissance Festival web site-

Patrons are welcomed to wear costumes suitable for a family-friendly atmosphere to get into the spirit of the event! All performers are paid by the King's purse and scheduled by the Artistic Director. No uncontracted performances are permitted.


Many Faires want to make sure the quality of the entertainment they offer is up to snuff.
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Offline Keno

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 11:13:21 AM »
We have a guy that lives or comes to iowa for the faire, he does Shakespeare or macbeth in 30 minutes with no props, just him running around, clapping, screaming, just acts crazy.  He always looks like hes going to pass out after each one but hes my favorite show out of the rest at our faire.  It deals with how you feel, if you think you can do it audition, if not wait til next year.  I would never go unless I'm ready, I rather wait than give a bad show.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 11:14:50 AM by Keno »
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Offline The Lady Mercedes

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 06:16:20 PM »
Thanks! Seeing as we missed Faire this yr. maybe we can prepare for next yr...
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Offline Becky10

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 01:52:35 PM »
Just curious as to if you guys were still planning on doing this... ;D
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Offline The Lady Mercedes

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 04:09:43 AM »
Hehehe yes, I think we still wanna do it if we can, hopefully at next yr's faire... :)
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Offline holierthanthou

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 03:44:45 PM »
At Derbyshire, the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare troupe comes in and performs on the street and in the pub.  They are adored.

They contacted the entertainment director and got approval.  They got billing, free food, admission and permission to use live steel.  If you are serious about this, it would benefit you to get approval.

If you audition a piece, you may rethink the play.  Most festivals want to have a very upbeat atmosphere. I suggest finding excerpts of different plays or sonnets and combining them.  Every play/sonnet has a part that can be very entertaining and not loose your audience. 

Don't fall into the Midsummer Nights Dream trap though.  If you have to, use the girls fight scene or Puck's soliloquy.  As a former Casting Director, I got really tired of seeing MND when there is a huge plethora of excellent plays to choose from.

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Offline Becky10

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 03:55:02 PM »
That was going to be my question i forgot to ask! Are you guys playing this straight and just a portion or the whole thing in a quick slapstick way
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Offline The Lady Mercedes

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Re: Doing Shakespere at Faire
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2010, 04:53:15 PM »
Thanks for the advice holier! And that's a good question Becky! Must think on that...
Why be mundane when you can be a Rennie?!

 

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