My classes for Fall 2015 are about to start, and I have finished my job as an Arts in the Gap intern. However, my work is not quite done yet. Before the Spring 2015 semester ended, I agreed to participate in another project through Arts in the Gap called the Appalachian Shakespeare Project. Before I even moved on to campus for my AitG internship, I was hard at work on this project. I along with two other student interns and two LMU professors adapted Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like it, to an Appalachian version of the play. In today’s post, I will tell you more about this project.
As I stated before, I was part of a small team that adapted this play. Under the direction of Dr. Natalie Spar and Mark McGinley, we changed the vernacular and setting of this play to fit the Appalachia, specifically East Tennessee. Though it could be tedious at times, it was not as difficult as I initially thought. We kept a lot of the play’s original meter, but changed a few words and phrases so that the audience could better relate to the play. We also set the play during the pioneer era. The first part of the play is based in Knoxville, Tennessee and the rest takes place in the Cumberland Gap. Though we have changed quite a bit of the play, the writers and actors have made it a point to stay as true to Shakespeare’s original plot as much as we possibly can.
After the interns sent the play to Dr. Spar for the final edit, we had tryouts. All actors, actresses, and musicians were welcomed to come and tryout for the play. The interns decided to try out for the play too, and we all got a part! I was a nervous wreck when I tried out because I had never tried out for a play before. I memorized a short monologue and presented it to the director (Mark McGinley) and everyone else trying out. After I made it through the monologue, I read for a few different parts and got a part as a country girl named Audrey. It is a small part, but I am excited that I am in the play. I have had a great time at all the rehearsals and am confident that I will do well for the performances.
Set and Rehearsals:
The interns and the other actors put a lot of effort into building and painting the set. Many of the set ideas stem from clothing, buildings, and art from the Museum of the Appalachia. I helped more with writing than I did with putting the set together, but I helped when I could. Painting the set has been a heavy load of work, and I am definitely not an artist, but I like the way it has turned out. The rehearsals have also been a lot of work, and they are even harder when you have spent all day painting! But I have always enjoyed myself, and I can tell that we have all come a long way. I am confident that we are all ready for our performances.
The performances are August 13-15 and August 20-22 at 7 P.M. They will take place in the Berkau Park in the Cumberland Gap. This is an outdoor play so make sure to bring a chair! Everyone involved with the play has worked hard, and we have all come such a long way since day one. I have had the privilege to participate in this project and to work with such skilled writers, artists, musicians, and actors/actresses. I am excited to share this play with the public! So if you are in the area, come and see it. Admission is free!
My internship with Arts in the Gap is now over except for the play performances. Starting Monday, I start classes for my final semester at LMU. It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. It is even harder for me to believe that my student career at LMU is almost over! I think it went by way too quickly, but I am excited to start my final semester as an undergrad student. I can’t wait to share it with you!
If you want to know more about the play or Arts in the Gap leave me a comment, and I will get back with you as soon as I can. Thank you for reading my blog! Remember to like this post and check back every other Wednesday for a new one.