I’ve been hanging out a lot with my actress friend lately. Despite living here for the past 4 years, she has been one of the first (and so far only) friends I’ve had who is currently engaged in the eye-opening industry of fulfilling one’s dream on the hard-earned and gruesome stages of New York. Be it off-Broadway or coming up with one’s own play – the world of acting and screenwriting still remains a mysterious universum to me at times.
In February my friend acted in a play that was based on the Shakespearean “The Taming of the Shrew.” Presented by The Tempest Ladies with no less than seven talented ladies, who have performed in similar, self-produced shows in the years before this one. This play was shown at the American Theatre of Actors – which is in a great location in Hell’s Kitchen, surprisingly close to Times Square. Oh, what goes all into a play? Stage managers, writers, producers, performers – you name it!
This improvised piece of Shakespearean amusement was up the right alley for me and my friend, when we visited the show on opening night during one cold February evening. What a surprise it was to find that the entire crew consisted of women, re-enacting all male roles in the “Taming of the Shrew.” Be it Petruchio, Hortensio, Gremio, Lucentio – you name it. And of course acting out female parts at the same time. All performed by seven (!) actresses only, who seamlessly changed their characters on a continuous basis. Luckily, it appeared that there were seldom more than five people in one scene, which made the entire ensemble possible.
My friend started out portraying the actual “shrew” but then ended up with a male role. What a joy it was to watch the transformations up front – which were quickly done with as little make-up as possible, simply by putting on a different toga or a man’s jacket.
For almost 2 and a half hours the audience was quite entertained. I look forward to seeing another production by these extremely talented ladies, which will hopefully be next year again.