by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jason Kendall
In this, one of Shakespeare's darkest comedies, a nobleman is sentenced to die for getting
his fiancee pregnant; the prince who sentenced him seduces a nun; and the true duke goes
undercover as a monk to behold the prince's stern rule on the hookers, pimps and criminals with
their backs against the wall.
New York Comedy Club
241 East 24th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
8 p.m., April 2-5, 9-12, 2000
Production Team and Cast
| Director and Producer
|| Jason Kendall
| Assistant Director and Associate Producer
|| Daniel Carroll O'Leary
| Stage Manager and Dramaturge
|| Rebekah Knoll
| Music Director/Performer
|| Joe Mattzie
| Production Advisor
|| Patrick Promelroy
| Production Assistant
|| Jennifer DuCaud
Michael Dufault |
as Duke Vincentio
Greg Waller |
Matthew Iott |
Bob Armstrong |
Letty Ferrer |
Ralph Carideo |
as Friar Thomas & Froth
Heather Berman |
as Mistress Overdone
Rob Addison |
John San Nicolas|
From the Program
In honor of OOB theater everywhere, I would like to
ask the audience to also go see the other version of
this play, currently in production across town. This is a unique
opportunity to see two radically different performances of the
same show. These shows, when seen in the light of the successes
of "The Donkey Show", "Bombity of Errors", and many others, shows a
resurgence of the classics on the New York stage.
This trend may be due to a number of things, not the
least of which is monetary. Lack of royalties combined
with innovative thinking allows for some powerful and hilarious theater.
It was my hope to deeply explore and then reconstruct
this so-called "problem play" of Shakespeare's. I was deeply
influenced by Peter Brook's text "The Empty Space," and the
following passage was an inspiration.
"Deadliness always brings us back to repetition: the
deadly director uses old formulae, old methods, old
jokes, old effects; stock beginnings to scenes, stock ends;
and this applies equally to his partners, the designers and
composers, if they do not start each time afresh from the Void,
the Desert and True Question - why clothes at all, why music,
what for? A deadly director is a director who brings no challenge
to the conditioned reflexes that every department must contain.
For half a century at least, it has been accepted
that the theatre is a unity and that all elements should try
to blend - this has led to the emergence of the director. But
it has been a matter of external unity, a fairly external blending
of styles so that contradictory styles do not jar. When we
consider how the inner unity of a complex work can be expressed
we may find quite reverse - that a jarring of externals is quite essential."
It is my deep hope that I have found and encouraged
both entertainment and challenge for the audience and that I
have not become a "deadly director." M4M has both comedic power and high
drama whil asking us to seriously consider the abuse
of power. When this play is examined in terms of today's political
landscape, this play has some rather potent statements, not
just nationally, but right here at home.
Amanda Silaski, Lou Salmone, Steve
O'Neill, Shannon Haragan,
David Lamberton, and Chris DePaola for their help in the audition process.
Without them, it would have fallen apart at the seams.
Patrick Promelroy, Jennifer DuCaud, Bob Cividanes, Abigail
Kinney, David Lamberton, Amanda Silaski, Judith E. Taranto,
Chris DePaola, Shannon Haragan, Players. Theater Rehearsal Studios,
Ron Shetler Studios, 8th Avenue Studios, Ozzie, Al, Actors'
Equity Association, and of course Phoebe and Tabitha. Also,
thanks to the 2,131 actors who sent in their headshots for the
auditions. Your hard work and desire to be in Shakespeare
proves that Off-Off-Broadway theater in New York is vital and alive.
Synopsis (Warning: spoilers ahead....)
The Duke leaves town and puts the strict Angelo in charge of
Vienna. We see some street urchins playing around. A young
gentleman, Claudio, is led to jail and imminent execution for
getting his girlfriend pregnant. The Duke comes back to Vienna
and disguies himself as a Friar to see how Angelo is governing.
His sister, Isabella, is told of his predicament on the day
she is to become a nun. The police put the very strict Law to
work on the street urchins. Isabella pleas for her brother's
life, and Angelo reacts unexpectedly.
Claudio.s fiancee, Juliet, tries to visit Claudio in jail,
and meets the Duke in disguise. Isabella meets Angelo privately
to sue for her brother's life, and encounters a problem.
Isabella comforts her brother in jail and tries to prepare him
for his execution. The Duke overhears as friar and assists her. The
Lawmen arrest the street urchins and clean up the city. The Duke learns
the problems his lax goverment has caused.
Isabella and the Duke execute a plan to solve their problem. The Duke
tries to rescue Claudio himself in the prison, and meets the strange
people who are incarcerated. Angelo learns the Duke is coming home
early, and acts quickly.
The Duke works it all out.(?)