With Shakespeare and Company’s Winter Studio Festival of Plays drawing to a belated conclusion, because of a fierce winter storm, and the press announcement of the 2019 season coming up, it seems a particularly opportune time to publish the Podcast of my interview with Artistic Director Allyn Burrows about the highly successful 2018 season.
Another first-rate show from The Comedy of Errors actors at Shakespeare and Company. With effortless mutability the bunch took up a drama of great seriousness by Lolita Chakrabarti. John Douglas Thompson, great actor that he is, joined and performed the role of Ira Aldridge to perfection. Wonderful about this production was the way theatre itself became the story, and the story became theatre.
The great pages in Terrence McNally’s Masterclass are those in which music takes stage. I know of no-one else who writes better about the act of music-making than Mr. McNally. Since the first student singer in the action sings very little, the words the playwright gives to Maria Callas as her teacher expand in our imagination into an imagined and sublime kind of singing, what we want it to be, what it ought to be. And most beautifully, he says that even the greenest student singer is connected to the long line of the piece, through herself, through her teacher, through the score, to the composer. The play is an in-house agon about being a singer. It is something the audience overhears.