We opened Titus Andronicus last night with a solid run with very few technical muck-ups, especially for the first preview of a relatively tech heavy show. Not all the elements of our production are what I would wish them to be, resources being tight as they are for a community theater, even one as venerable and as well-located as Plays & Players, which is just a few blocks off of Rittenhouse Square. Without enough time and money, costuming is sketchy and suggestive at best, and scenic elements which were part of the original design were discarded due to unavailability of running crew. But, of course, issues such as these are secondary, since the big fat beating heart of the show is the acting. Our actors seem all to be working near the top of their game. The low bar for the acting in this show is higher than almost any other pro-amateur production I've been in (the exception is In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer at Northwest Classical theatre Co., in Portland, Or. That show rocked.) Not all our actors are equally well-trained in speaking Shakespeare, but I can hear in everyone's delivery that they've worked the language with all the tools and sensitivity at their disposal. The acting is honest almost always, and if the honesty slips here and there, it's because we're all hip deep in challenging work that requires lightening fast thinking and execution and sometimes one may well slur a transition or sudden 'hot' moment here or there. We're delivering a good show for the resources at hand, worth the $20 ticket price.
Program note: for the record, I need to correct a couple of mistakes in my program bio. I completed the One-month Intensive at Shakespeare & Company but was NOT a company member. I understudied Fallen Angels at The Walnut Street Theatre but was NOT in it (i.e., did not appear on stage.)