I greatly enjoy reading The Fabricator each week, and look forward to its altered perspectives. I prefer to read it as future news, or as actual news from a not-so-alternate universe, as opposed to complete fabrications. However, the Aug. 10 article, “Tennessee becomes Peyton Place,” about the number of children named Peyton currently entering school, was so ludicrous as to render suspension of disbelief impossible. A Tennessee classroom with only 16 children? Oh, PUH-LEASE!
Please keep all future fabrications at least plausible.
321 Kevin Dr.
I really appreciated Martin Brady’s thoughtful and well-written review of our production of As You Like It. Mr. Brady was fair and considerate in acknowledging our efforts and the talents of our artists while expounding on his distaste for the concept.
The irony to his not liking or understanding our Wild West concept is that, as an actor, I’ve never found more relevance in setting one of Shakespeare’s plays in a specific time and place. We weren’t searching for “new ways to present the Bard”; we searched for a true way to present this play.
The American West represents a time when “men were men and women were women,” thus explaining why Orlando doesn’t recognize his Rosalind when she’s dressed like a man. It was a time when the challenges of surviving the great outdoors could be more welcome than surviving the powers of a corrupt lawman. And we imagine it to have been a place where women were terrified to venture, but men sat around writing poetry and singing songs about love and hunting. As we rehearsed As You Like It, the text became more and more clear to us looking through this particular lens. The themes are all beautifully illustrated: the laws of man vs. the laws of nature; the exploration of love and male/male, male/female, and female/female relationships; the debates on country life vs. court life.
The joy of doing free Shakespeare in the Park is knowing that Mr. Brady could come back a second or third time and have the opportunity to enjoy this relevance as he becomes more familiar with these themes. Our show will surely grow as the actors involved find even more connection between the text and the play.
We knew when we decided on this concept that we wouldn’t please everyone (although our first three audiences seemed to have had lots of fun), but our job is to present Shakespeare in the truest, most accessible way we can. I’m proud of this production and believe we’ve served the Bard well.
Nashville Shakespeare Festival
615 Fifth Ave. S., Nashville
The photo credit was omitted from last week’s Urban Front column (“Notes From Faulkner Country”). The photograph of the Second Lafayette County Courthouse was taken by Thomas S. Hines and can be found in his book William Faulkner and the Tangible Past, published in 1996 by University of California Press.
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