Kentucky Shakespeare’s Richard II

Today we bring you a play about the time when kings reined and all who opposed them were banished. That’s right! It’s Shakespeare’s Richard II, a great play about the battles taken and emotional strife caused by those who want to be king, and the kings themselves, playing now in Central Park by Kentucky Shakespeare.

The play opens with Henry Bolingbroke accusing Thomas Mowbray of treason. Both are banished from England by Richard II. Soon after, John of Gaunt, the father of Henry, dies. Richard seizes the property and denies Henry his father’s house and belongings. Trying to get back his life, Henry returns to England while Richard is at Ireland. What will happen when Richard returns? Who will be the new king? Find out in Richard II.

One of our favorite characters was Richard II because he started happy and you could see him change over time. We also liked that he showed compassion and mercy and accepted the fact that he could not be king. Our favorite scene was the trial between Henry and Thomas Mowbray because it was interesting and it was fun to see a battle of wits in between them. We also liked that it was toe to toe and had gut-busting Shakespearean-style humor. The part where gloves were thrown and punches were about to be thrown as well was especially funny. Another favorite character was Henry because he was full of wit; it was great to see the cunning remarks made by him. But in some cases he was kind, when his death was planned; he pardoned one of the planners out of the kindness in his heart. (Even though some would call it attempted murder)

Richard II a really good play. It is the first in the series of four plays called “Game of Kings” were you can see repeating actors play roles in tales of treachery and hope in an uncertain world. Kentucky Shakespeare is on the Cultural Pass  [Calendar here]. If you get a Festival Passport card punched at all the plays then you win a cool prize. This was an amazing play and we hope that you can come and see it.

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

We went to see Julius Caesar at Iroquois Park for Shakespeare in the Parks. There were only six actors and each of them did an amazing job in this tragedy.

The story starts with Julius Caesar coming back to Rome and everyone is rejoicing his return except for Cassius who wants him dead. After talking to Cassius, Brutus changes from liking Caesar to thinking he is evil. Brutus is a gifted speaker so he gets Caska and Lucius Cinna to help, making a total of four conspirators to fight against Caesar.  Caesar is warned by a prophet to “beware the ides of March”, which Caesar ignores. On the ides of March, Caesar’s wife has a dream of a fountain of Caesar pouring out blood so she tells Caesar not to go to the Senate. Cassius tells Caesar not to worry because his wife interpreted the dream wrong, so he goes anyway. At a podium, Caesar is about to accept the position of king but is stabbed by the four conspirators and dies. What will happen to the conspirators? Who will be the new leader of Rome? Find out in Julius Caesar.

One of our favorite characters was Brutus because he thought he was doing the right thing when he killed Julius Caesar but he was being manipulated by Cassius the whole time. We like that he liked Julius but his mind was changed so easily. Our other favorite character was Cassius because he was so good at manipulating people. We like how he was able to change people’s opinions so easily. One of our favorite scenes was the scene where Julius Caesar was killed because Julius was so happy because he was becoming king but he was killed by Brutus and the other conspirators and everyone changed their mind from thinking that Caesar was the right person to thinking he was a bad person and deserved to die because he was a tyrant.  Something this play can teach us is that people can change their opinions on something so quickly so you need to think about what you do and who you side with before doing something.

We are definitely looking forward to Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The season will be Much Ado about Nothing, Richard II, and Julius Caesar. The Globe Players will be doing the Merchant of Venice and there will be community partners’ shows as well.


Moose and Turtle

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 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

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Macbeth

(Say in a very scary voice) Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Hello! Over the weekend we went to see Macbeth at the Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. It was great play. Here is a short summery of the play, Macbeth and Banquo had just defeated 2 armies after that, 3 witches appeared and called him 3 things, Thane (which means lord) of Glamis who he was at that point, then Thane of Cawdor which he was not at that point, and finally king of Scotland who he could end up being. They told Banquo that his sons will be kings but he will never be one. Then they disappear. After that 2 messengers arrived and told Macbeth that he was now Thane of Cawdor. When he got home he talked to his wife about the witches and that the king, Duncan, will be coming over to meet them. Lady Macbeth put drugs in the guards’ wine to make them go to sleep and Macbeth killed King Duncan so he can become king. Will Macbeth face punishment for his dreadful deed or will he get away with it no problem? Find out when you watch Macbeth.

One of our favorite characters was Macduff, played by Jeremy Sapp, because he was very brave. Another favorite character was Macbeth, played by Jon Patrick O’Brien, because he did something very wrong and when his conscience bothered him, he tried to stop himself but could not. That shows that he tried as hard as he could but also did not think about the consequences of his actions.

One of our favorite scenes was the dinner scene because it was cool how Macbeth saw spirits even though nobody else saw them. Another favorite scene was the final battle because it was really well choreographed. One of our favorite costumes was the witches’ because they looked really ragged and evil. Another one of our favorite costumes was Macbeth’s because it is Turtles favorite color (red) and had a cool plaid pattern.

There were also some very cool effects like when fog came out for all of the witches’ scenes and whenever a witch put something in a cauldron it turned red and fog came out. The other effect was a mirror effect where images came out and showed something and it was really creepy.

This play was different from the other two plays we have seen this summer because it had our favorite type of actor – KID ACTORS. It’s really a shame what happens to a lot of the kids in Shakespeare’s plays. There were 4 children in the play and they were Fleance played by Will DeVary, and Macduff’s children played by Xavier Zubric, Bailey Ramirez, and Vaughn Ramirez.

This was a really amazing play and we hope you can come and see it. It is part of the Kentucky Shakespeare passport and you can get a free prize for going to all the shows and it is on the Cultural Pass which you can get at your local public library.

Turtle and Moose

The Taming of the Shrew

Yesterday we went to see Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare in the Park. It was an amazing play. The beginning of the play starts with a drunken man named Christopher Sly, played by Jon Patrick O’ Brien, on the street and asleep and a lady finds him and decides to prank him. She brings him to her house to make him think he is a lord and puts on a play for him and it goes like this: 3 people want to marry Bianca, played by Sarah Jo Provost. Their names are Hortentio, played by Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Gremio, played by Jon Huffman, and Lucentio played by Zachary Burrell, but can’t until her older sister Kate, played by Abigail Bailey Maupin, is married. Hortentio and Gremio get Petruchio, played by Gregory Maupin, to marry Kate so Bianca can get married. Who will marry Bianca? And will Sly ever figure out who he really is?

One of our favorite characters was Petruchio because of the funny stuff he said like “It is the moon. No, it is the sun.” He did it because he wanted to pick an argument with Kate. Another favorite character was Biondello, played by Megan Massie, because she was funny and exaggerated a lot. It was funny when she interacted with her master, Lucentio.

One of our favorite scenes was the country house dinner because Petruchio did not let Kate eat anything because the meat was burned and he wanted everything to be perfect out of his perfect love. But he was really doing it to try to “tame her”. DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! We also liked the scene when there was a feast and all the husbands placed a bet on whose wife would come first. The reactions of the characters were really funny when the wife who came first was Kate.

We liked Petruchio’s costume during his wedding scene because he wore mismatched clothes like one laced shoe and one buckled shoe. Another favorite costume was the servant’s costume they were red with green yellow and red diamonds and they stood out a lot. This was a really cool play and we hope that you come see it. It will show tonight and then Tuesday through Sunday (June 23-28). It also will be in repertory July 19-25. Remember that Shakespeare in the Park is part of the Louisville Cultural Pass!

Turtle and Moose

The Shakespeare in Central Park Season Has Begun

Hello! Yesterday we started off with the 2015 Kentucky Shakespeare season with The Tempest. It is the first of three Kentucky Shakespeare plays. Then will be one Globe Players play and then 2 community plays.

One of our favorite characters was Prospero, played by Jon Huffman, because he is very important and he is a wizard but he doesn’t like other wizards. Another favorite character was Arial, played by Sarah Jo Provost, because she is a spirit that can do amazing things. She can fly and make people do what she wants. Turtle thinks those are some pretty amazing powers. Arial flies with the power of stage magic.  Arial can move so well; we were very impressed.

The setting of the play is an island full of strange and unusual spirits. One of our favorite scenes is on the boat where Antonio and the rest of the ships members are tossed about by a tempest and then shipwrecked. Another of our favorite scenes is when Arial greets Prospero. She does flips and turns that look really cool. We like how Arial fought for her freedom.

One of our favorite costumes is Caliban’s. It matches the environment and what kind of spirit he is and Dathan Hooper, who played Caliban, uses the costume to really bring Caliban to life. Another favorite costume is the spirits because their colors are simple and truly represent what Prospero needs. We also like how ferocious the spirits can be.

Before the show last night, Matt Wallace, the producing artistic director, was presented with the Allan Cowen Innovation Award. We think that he really deserves it because of the great job he has been doing with Kentucky Shakespeare. We also like the new lighting truss. A lot of people worked really hard so that Kentucky Shakespeare could have a new light bar. As a bonus, the flying equipment is also part of the new light system.

The Tempest plays in Central Park through June 14th and in rotating repertory after that. Whatever you do, don’t miss this show – or Prospero might have to send a tempest after you too!