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Happy birthday, William Shakespeare! What is your favorite performance you've seen on stage or screen of any of Shakespeare's plays?
Today marks the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, the greatest writer the English language has ever known.
I’ve acted in eleven of his plays. My favorite production I participated in was possibly Hamlet in 2008 for Hilo Community Players’ Annual Shakespeare in the Park. I was King Claudius, and I was booed during curtain calls. I was a nasty villain. That production had solid elements for all areas.
I live in a rain forest, so it rains at some point during each performance. The actors and the audience all get wet. People here live with rain year round, so we’re used to getting wet. The wettest year was when we did The Taming of the Shrew in 2009 when I played Hortensio, which was possibly my most fully realized character. That year it rained so hard so many nights I was wet to my underwear. It was a rough year for rain.
This year I am directing Antony and Cleopatra, and we will have only six actors of both genders playing all 28 roles. It will be a fun experience. Auditions are next week.
I don’t know if I have a favorite performance I’ve seen, but I do have a most memorable. I saw Hamlet performed in a church attic in Chicago once. The small audience sat in a circle of chairs, and the actors entered and exited the circle to perform. There were no props or scenery. It was the actors, the costumes, and the words. Oh the glorious words!
Which performance on stage or screen of one of his plays was your favorite or the most memorable?