The castle doors open and, behold, kings and queens assemble, mingle and discourse in a Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre’s production of a new script by Omaha’s Scott Kurz. The place, perforce, is Joslyn Castle.
Kurz has created an intermingling of dialogue from more than a dozen Shakespeare plays plus sonnets and Kurz’s own words. Center stage are such characters as Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedick, Titania plus Oberon plus Puck and Macbeth’s witches.
The primary point of departure is the one-month (to May 1st ) visit at The Durham Museum of the national tour of the 1623 First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library. A second production (see below) spins off from that as well.
Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre describes the core of the two acts as involving the lovers from Verona interacting with B & B from Much Ado About Nothing. And also suggests that Puck, hiding from Macbeth’s witches might interrupt the balcony scene, that the witches could be Titania or Lady Macbeth, and Oberon be Benedick. Plus there’s a potential link-up between Hamlet and Macbeth.
“Things go from comically bad to tragically worse” it says, “when supernatural forces collide with characters of a darker nature “calling forth “universal themes” such as power, corruption, madness, despair, and love.
Kurz is a filmmaker, actor, director, writer and set designer. His 2012 movie The Fixer won the award for Best Nebraska Short Film at the Omaha Film Fest. His most recent project is a short film, Lucky Stiff which just debuted at the festival. He’s written, directed and appeared in the short film Bag. Lady for the International 100 Hour Film Race and Muddy Water for the International 48 Hour Film Project in Los Angeles.
As an actor, he’s appeared in many Brigit Saint Brigit productions and is in this one. He’s been in NBC’s Chicago Fire, in the PBS docudrama The Legacy of Boilermakers and movies such as The Battle of Shiloh: The Devil’s Own Two Days and Alexander Payne's Citizen Ruth. More at: www.scottkurz.com. He is married to BSB Artistic Director Cathy Kurz who co-directs with him.
The rest of the cast: Delaney Driscoll, John Hatcher, Ashley Spessard, Jeremy Earl, Anna Jordan and Jackson Cottrell.
Another performance takes place over the same weeks on different days and at a different place. This is Mystic Chords of Memory: Lincoln’s Shakespeare at First Central Congregational Church where staged one-hour readings bring together that president’s thoughts and anecdotes about his favorite works by The Bard, actors interpreting Lincoln’s words and parts of plays.
Evidently Lincoln regularly socialized with actors of his day, especially about Julius Caesar, Henry V, Hamlet and Macbeth. “Most telling,” says the theatre company, “were his private and haunting reflections about betrayal, the guilt of leaders for bloodshed in war, grief for loss, and the dangers of power” as called forth in what Shakespeare wrote.
This concept was originally part of a series at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts during the 2009 bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.
The cast: Steve Miller, Charleen Willoughby, Brent Spencer, and MaryBeth Adams.
“O for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention…” (Henry V Act 1, Scene 1)
Tyger’s Hart runs May 5-21, Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St. Weds. (11), Thurs. (5,19), Fri.(6,13) Sat. (7, 21) 7:30 p.m. Tues. (10): 8 p.m. Sun Tickets: $20-$25 www.bsbtheatre.com
Mystic Chords of Memory: Lincoln’s Shakespeare runs May 7-17, First Central Congregational Church, 421 S. 36 St. Sat.: 7:30 p.m. Sun.: 2 p.m. Tues (17): 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10 www.bsbtheatre.com