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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shakespeare's Tempest & We Happy Few

I went to see The Tempest in Washington, D.C. over the weekend.

The company is called We Happy Few, and they performed at Capital Fringe theater.

It’s a great show!

If you are in or near Washington, you must see it.

There are only a few more performances left, so please hurry up and get your tickets!

I am not a professional theater critic, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

I really like these kinds of productions -- where the costumes are simple, the set isn’t too distracting, and you can really focus on the actors and the story of the play. 

I like to hear the play as much as possible, and for me at least, when there is too much going on, I have a hard time enjoying what Shakespeare wrote.

The actors are all excellent. 

I really liked the fact that the actors were almost always on the stage together, watching and reacting to what was happening at the moment. As strong as each actor was individually, the fact they were supporting each other like this on stage together made the ensemble even stronger, and the play was more rewarding for it.

The director Hannah Todd wrote in the play program that she wanted to make the play magical with the actors, their voices and their body movement. I like this creative choice very much, since the performances were excellent and the actors were allowed to make full use of the stage.

Raven Boniwell and Jacob Jannsen are the movement directors and they get a lot of credit for the success of the play. The actors moved in and around and up and down the playing space, making the entire theatre feel like it was disconnected from the outside world, and transporting you to Prospero’s island.

The company We Happy Few Productions is relatively new, having been founded only last year, by Hannah Todd and Raven Boniwell.

I'm disappointed that I didn't get to see their earlier shows.

But I am excited by what they are doing, and I really look forward to their next production of Romeo and Juliet later this year.


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