The Big Show – Kentucky Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Hi! It’s Turtle and Moose again to talk about the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s Romeo and Juliet. This is one of the most well-known plays of Shakespeare and is very tragic. “Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Once of the most well-known openings in theatre and with it we learn that Romeo and Juliet will be a story of how two star-crossed lovers from rival families try to find a way to be together.

It starts with the Capulets and the Montagues fighting in the streets of Verona. This is one our favorite scenes because the action was very intense and even with the rain slowing the speed of the fight (for safety’s sake), it was still a thrill to watch. The Prince is angered and says that if there are any more fights between the families then they will be executed. Peter, played by Tony Milder, is a messenger for the Capulets and does not know how to read but he wants to know who he is supposed to invite to a grand party. He asks Romeo who happens to be on the street. Romeo, played by Crystian Wiltshire, is one of our favorite characters because he did everything in his power to see Juliet, played by Megan Massie, and was very intense both in love and in anger. Romeo is reading the list and finds the name Rosaline, with whom Romeo is desperately in love.

Romeo and his friends are not allowed at the party but they show up anyway in masks. Mercutio, played by Bryon Collie and one of Romeo’s friends, is another of our favorite characters because he is funny and sarcastic but is also very serious about his friends. Tybalt, played by Neill Robertson, Juliet’s cousin and a loyal Capulet, shows up and finds out Romeo’s true identity and is hot to avenge this injustice. He is stopped when he tells his uncle and his uncle tells him to leave Romeo alone. Romeo then meets Juliet while dancing and leaves with a heavy heart knowing that he could never be married with her. After the dance Juliet is looking out her window calling Romeo’s name and wishing he was not a Montague. Romeo, who climbed over the walls of the Capulet’s home, miraculously hears her. They talk and they decide to wed, in secret, the very next day.

After the wedding, Tybalt sees Romeo and tries to goad him into a fight but Romeo walks away and Mercutio ends up fighting Tybalt. Tybalt slays Mercutio and then Romeo slays Tybalt in revenge. Romeo is banished. Juliet takes a potion that makes it look like she is dead so she won’t have to marry Paris. Friar Lawrence will then reunite Romeo and Juliet. But the plan fails and Romeo thinks she is dead. Romeo rushes to her tomb with a poison and commits suicide in despair. When Juliet wakes up and finds out that Romeo actually is dead she commits suicide too. This is one of our favorite scenes because of the fight between Romeo and Paris, tragic because of the misunderstandings, and the ultimate tragedy that follows. The two families realize that their hate for each other has caused all of the deaths and make peace and live sadly ever after.

In the first half of the play, the costumes were of the traditional period style but in the second half, the dress because modern with jeans and suits and police in modern uniforms. We believe this is because modern rivalries have just as tragic outcomes as did the families of Verona, and perhaps we can learn from Shakespeare before it is too late.

This was an amazing play and we hope everyone goes to see it. Romeo and Juliet plays through next Tuesday, the 12th, and then all 3 Shakespeare shows will be in rotating rep. Don’t miss any of these shows!

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

We saw Kentucky Shakespeare’s production of The Winter’s Tale. It is a very funny play even though it started out very much like a tragedy and the change doesn’t take away from the amazingness that are Shakespeare’s plays.

The story starts with Polixenes, the king of Bohemia (played by Gregory Maupin) visiting Leontes, king of Sicilia (played by Dathan Hooper) and his wife Queen Hermione (played by Maggie Lou Rader). We like Mamillius (played by Julian Allen) because is funny and charming and is willing to do whatever his father says. We also like his song at the beginning of the play and how it sets the stage for this excellent show. Leontes thinks that Hermione is cheating on him with Polixenes. Leontes tries to get Camillo (played by Jeremy Sapp) to poison Polixenes but Camillo flees with Polixenes to avoid poisoning him. Antigonus (played by Kyle Ware) is forced to leave Hermione’s newly-born daughter on a desert shore in Bohemia. Hermione is in court for treason but after hearing of the death of her son Mamillius she collapses dead. Antigonus drops off the baby and then is killed by a rapidly-moving bear. A shepherd and his son find the baby Perdita. Will Leontes and Perdita meet? What will Leontes do now? What have Camillo and Polixenes done during this time? The answer to these questions and more are in Act II. Also keep an eye out for Autolycus (played by Neill Robertson) because he is funny and a devious trickster (and not that subtle) pick-pocket.

This is an amazing play put on by Kentucky Shakespeare and we hope you can come see it. If you see each show at least once and have your passport stamped you can get a prize.

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Hi, this is Turtle and Moose, two gentlemen of Louisville, here to tell you about Kentucky Shakespeare’s play The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This version of the play is set in 1919 at the end of WWI. There are lots of fun musical numbers in this performance that make it feel more alive. It all starts in Verona when Valentine (played by Zachary Burrell) leaves for Milan while Proteus (played by Jon Patrick O’Brien) stays in Verona to woo Julia (played by Maggie Lou Rader). Neither know of each other’s love until a love letter from Proteus says otherwise. When Proteus gets the response, his father sends him to the Duke and Valentine meets him. Proteus finds out about the love between Silvia (played by Arielle Leverett) and Valentine. But he secretly likes Silvia too, so he tells the Duke that Valentine likes Silvia so Valentine is banished from Milan. Valentine soon meets a group of outlaws (played by Bryon Coolie, Neil Robertson, and Braden McCampbell) and becomes their leader. We know that this is a comedy, so somebody’s going to get married. Who will it be…?

Crab, played by Hope, is a very special part of the performance. She is a therapy dog and is breaking the boundaries of cute. Our favorite characters are Launce (played by Gregory Maupin) and Speed (played by Abagail Bailey Maupin). They are servants of the gentlemen of Verona. They are good friends just like their bosses and they have the best costumes of any of the male characters. We like how they sing duets together just like we do. One of our favorite scenes is the outcast/wilderness scene when Valentine finds a group of outlaws. It is amusing how Valentine started scared of them but ends up as their leader when he tells them he had killed a man (lies!). Our other favorite scene is the first scene which is a musical. We like how it sets the stage for the rest of the play and shows how colorful life is in Verona. It has a person riding a bike across the stage which we think is funny. It is also our first look at Crab the dog.

Remember that the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival series is on the Cultural Pass and that you get a special prize for seeing each of the plays. It was an amazing play and we expect more amazing Shakespeare later this summer.

Thanks for reading,

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet

Hello! It’s Turtle and Moose and we saw Kentucky Shakespeare’s performance of Romeo and Juliet at Iroquois Amphitheater for Shakespeare in the Parks.

Our first favorite character was Tybalt because he is evil. He is a good fighter and is ready to protect his family name – until he died. Another one of our favorite characters was Romeo. We liked his brave love for Juliet and that he would literally die for her. We liked that he wanted to put their family differences aside and be friends.

One of our favorite scenes was when Paris and Romeo had the “Final Showdown” (quotes intended). We liked the emotion and the epic fight. Another of our favorite scenes was the opening scene. It was a good monologue and a great start for the play.

Romeo goes to a Capulet party to see Rosaline but instead meets Juliet who he likes more. Romeo sneaks out at night to see Juliet and they agree to get married. After they are married Romeo and Mercutio meet Tybalt who wants to kill them. Tybalt kills Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is then banished from Verona. Then because no one knows Romeo and Juliet are married. Juliet’s father tries to make Juliet marry Paris. Juliet drinks a sleeping potion to make her go into a coma so it looks like she is dead. Will Juliet have to marry Paris? Will Romeo and Juliet meet again? Find out in Romeo and Juliet.

This was a great performance from Kentucky Shakespeare. We want to thank all of the sponsors for Shakespeare in the Parks – Mayor Susan Barto, City of Lyndon, Mayor Bill Dieruf, City of Jeffersontown, Mayor Jeff Gahan, City of New Albany, Mayor Mike Moore, City of Jeffersonville, Louisville Metro Council members Jessica Green, Barbara Shanklin, Cheri Bryant Hamilton, David James, Angela Leet, Ton Owen, Bill Hollander, Pat Mulvihill, Vicki Aubrey Welch, Cindi Fowler, Marianne Butler, Kelly Downard, Glen Stuckel, Stuart Benson, Dan Johnson, James Peden, David Yates, and Humana, Jeffersonville Arts Alliance, Jeffersonville Public Art Commission, Jefferson Main Street, and White Clay. There are 16 more performances of Romeo and Juliet – see Kentucky Shakespeare’s website for dates and locations. We are very much looking forward to the summer season in Central Park. The kickoff of the season is June 1st. See you there!

Moose and Turtle

The Speed Art Museum

Hello! This is Turtle and Moose reporting almost live at the Speed Art Museum. We were at the 2016 public opening of the Speed today. After more than 3 years of endless waiting (only mitigated by trips to the Local Speed) it’s finally here! The opening was 10 AM Saturday and the party ends at 4 PM Sunday. They say its 30 hours but we think its 29 because of Daylight Savings Time.

First we went to new and improved Art Sparks. At one table we made paper quilt squares. All you did was get one large piece of paper and glue smaller squares or triangles on top of it. It looked very cool and you could make very intricate designs. Then you could add your quilt block to the community quilt on the wall in the next room. Next up was making postcards. It was very simple but fun. You drew your design on the postcard, stuck it in an envelope and you could mail it to whomever you like. They had stencils of the new Speed Art Museum logo to put on the cards too. After that was making music with fruits. It worked because when you put a computer, a fruit, and wires together you got an almost complete circuit. If you put your hand on one of the wires and touched a fruit you got a complete circuit – or citrus depending on your fruit (pun VERY intended). With a complete circuit you got music. There was an area of Art Sparks devoted to art with light. It was very cool. You could go inside a special room and project your image or you could draw using a light pen. There was a lot more in that room but it would take up about 125.7 pages of awesome.

Now it is time for the rest of this giant building and its artwork. There was a bridge that you could see through and a cool stairway. There were 3 elevators in neon green, neon blue and hot pink. The freight elevator was bright yellow. Some of our favorite pieces were a giant 3D sculpture made of cubes. The center cube had a volume of 125 cubes. The cubes got smaller outward in 4 directions until they all reached a volume of 1 cube. There was a giant piece of cloth draped across half the room. Also there was a canvas with weird glass that made cool shadows and it stuck out. There was a Volkswagen Beetle made out of cloth that looked really cool. There was a yellow bowl that if you looked at from the forward view it was a circle but if you look at it from an angle you can tell it’s a bowl.

We saw a piano performance by Rachel Grimes who is a pianist and a composer. Then we saw Kentucky Shakespeare do a two-player performance of Romeo and Juliet. In addition to a great play we learned about better ways to resolve conflict than fighting. The audience was able to join in as extra characters. Then we did a STEAM project with the Louisville Free Public Library where you made a doodlebug – a thing that draws random lines. You made it by using a motor, a battery, and a cork to make the moving part then you added markers and a paper cup to make the body then you attached them with tape so you could now draw with it. So that was our trip to the Speed Museum and the opening party will still be open until 4 PM March 13.

We saw many famous people there like Mayor Abramson, Mayor Fisher, JCPS Superintendent Hargens, and the Louisville Orchestra conductor Teddy Abrams. We also saw great people from the Speed and friends from school! It was great to see so many people out supporting the arts and it was even better to have the Speed Museum back open again!

Moose and Turtle


Speed Engineering Expo

Hi, it’s Moose and Turtle again and we know we have not made a blog in a while but we’re back. We went to the Speed Engineering Expo at the University of Louisville and saw many cool things.

We loved the interactive exhibits. We met someone who made shoe padding that tracks the wearer’s steps and tracks what part of the shoe is used the most. That would be great for improving one’s stride if the wrong part of the shoe is wearing too fast. He made it in a hack-a-thon. Another thing we saw was the Baja racing car which was the fastest car entered in the competition. It went 45 miles per hour with a really small engine because it was so light. The transmission was made of 3-D printed plastic. They made the car completely on their own. If all cars were made with more plastic instead of metal, they would use less gas and that would be great for the environment. The Biomedical Engineering Society had a stand where we took the DNA out of strawberries. We have a couple of ideas on what to use it for, perhaps a mutant strawberry or an orangeberry? Next was an exhibit by the Society of Women Engineers. Basically it works by putting black paper in clear nail polish and water. It makes rainbow colors on the paper. It works because the nail polish is too thick for light to travel through but with water in it, light can. When you put the paper in a bit of polish comes off and makes a rainbow prism. The next activity was from the Triangle Fraternity and Phi Sigma Rho. They helped us make catapults. All that is needed is 6 craft sticks, 3 rubber bands, and a spoon. We launched mini-marshmallows with them.

Next we did three projects with the Kentucky Science Center. The first was a cup that was so small water would not fall out of it. The surface tension of the water overcame gravity. The second project was examining hydrophobic sand. If you put water on hydrophobic sand it all groups together and the sand does not get wet. Regular sand just absorbs the water and makes clumps. The final one was a vacuum that made shaving cream expand when the air was taken out and then when the air was let back in the shaving cream blew all over the container. We think it was great that the Science Center came out to the Engineering Expo for science!

We played around with obleck, a “fluid” made of equal parts of water and cornstarch. It is a non-Newtonian fluid which is something that is both a solid and a liquid. If you hit it, it is solid but if you just hold it in your hand it will ooze though your fingers because it is a liquid. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers students who showed us the obleck are looking at the possibility of making bullet-proof vests out of non-Newtonian fluid. Then we read a research poster about using Twitter to track the areas where people are sick from the flu. The project used a program that searched for key words like “flu” and “sick” on Twitter and what area the words were sent from. The research showed that Twitter could find outbreaks of the flu 2-3 weeks before the CDC and with up to 98% accuracy. We think this is great because then people in the “flu” area can be more careful to not get the flu. Next was condensed grape juice using a distillation column. It works by boiling the juice which takes out the water. That’s how you make very strong grape juice. The water that the process makes is also more pure than when it started so it would be good for cleaning water. It also can be used to make different fuels out of crude oil.

Next up is the bridge contest. In this contest, engineering students put wooden bridges that kids had made in a machine that put pressure on the bridges until they broke. The bridge that holds the most pressure wins. We think this can be used to find new kinds of strong bridges or make sure a creative bridge won’t crack under the pressure. Next was making balloon-powered cars. We made platforms and taped two straws to the bottom, slid wooden sticks into the straws and put a wooden wheel on each end of the stick. On the top Turtle taped a straw going across the platform long ways and attached a balloon to the end so he could blow through the straw and set it down and watch it go. Moose used a cup to hold the balloon up higher and he blew his balloon up and let his car go too. Turtle’s record was 13 ft. 7 in. and Moose’s was 7 ft. 11 in. River City Rocketry had a rocket-building project. We made rockets out of paper by cutting out a cone, body, and fins. Then we got to fire them out of an air propelled cannon. We found out that you have to be really careful to make sure none of the air gets out of the side of the rocket or it will blow up.

This was a really cool event and we hope you come next year. It was great that so many engineering students took a Saturday to teach kids about engineering. They showed us many things and helped us build neat stuff. We learned a lot and it was a lot of fun!

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Hello! We saw a great performance by Kentucky Shakespeare at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Twelfth Night, or What You Will, is an amazing comedy and the pranks are hilarious. We have to admit that the fancy indoor restrooms were a great bonus and how unusual it was to not be wearing shorts to see Shakespeare!

One of our favorite characters was Malvolio, played by Gregory Maupin, because he takes his letters very seriously. He believes everything in the letter even though he really doesn’t have any reason to. As a result, he acts crazy. Another favorite character was Feste, the fool, played by Alec Volz, because he was witty and he had many tricks up his sleeve. When he was trying to keep his job he told the guards to take the “other fool” away because he thought Olivia, his employer, was being foolish in trying to get rid of him.

One favorite scene was when Malvolio was trying to smile after the prank letter told him to. His smile was so forced that people thought he was crazy. He was dressed very unusually in cross-guarded yellow stockings. Another of our favorite scenes was the dark prison scene because it was really funny. Feste was imitating a priest who was supposed to take care of Malvolio who was locked up because everyone though he was crazy. Feste wanted to trick Malvolio because of Malvolio’s very severe nature.

Our favorite costume was the yellow stockings that Malvolio was wearing because they led to such a fuss that it made people think he was crazy. The scenery was really fun too. There was a cool house with stairs and a tree. There was a platform with pillars and a cool dungeon built into a vom that made lots of fog.

The beginning of the plot is that Viola thinks her brother Sebastian was killed in a shipwreck that stranded Viola on foreign shores. Viola decides to dress and act as a boy to gain employment with the Duke of Illyria. The Duke is in love with Olivia and sends Viola (as Cesario) to woo Olivia for him. But Olivia falls in love with Cesario and Viola falls in love with the Duke. We also see that Sebastian has survived the shipwreck. What will happen when Viola and Sebastian finally meet? How will the tangled pairs work out? Find out by coming to see Twelfth Night at the Kentucky Center. It shows every day through January 10th. We are also looking forward to the summer season of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter’s Tale, and Romeo and Juliet as well as the community productions, the Globe Players, and Shakespeare in the Parks and in the Libraries! You can never have too much Shakespeare.

Moose and Turtle