No other playwright explored the facets of love better than William Shakespeare. Tales of Woo and Woe uses text from fifteen of Shakespeare’s plays and eight of his sonnets to create a new way of hearing and seeing joyous reunions, sad farewells, jealous threats and pledges of affection. The world premiere production is devised by Jimmy Webber and co-directed by Ken Gilbert and E. Bonnie Lewis, who also choreographs.
Webber says, “This script has been in the works for some five years: Ken and Bonnie loved the idea of ‘wooing’ and ‘woe’ in Shakespeare’s works, and I’ve played with ways to engage the actors and audience with these emotions from a universal perspective. It’s daring to pick and choose among Shakespeare’s many wonderful lines to create a whole new structure, but that’s what Tales of Woo and Woe does; it creates an emotional arc which, rather than being the story of any particular pair of lovers, follows the feelings and stages of any of us in our own experiences of love.”
Lewis adds, “We have all made complete and utter fools of ourselves in the name of love, in pursuing a relationship and we have all in our own way yearned and felt loss so deeply, so to the marrow of our bones that we had no words. Shakespeare gives us words and they still ring true.”
DramaDogs uses a body centered style of acting that Gilbert says allows each performer to find his or her way to with connect the words to physical and emotional action, which brings them to life in unique ways. “All of the movement in the rehearsal stimulates the actors’ breath, movement, sound, voice into the words of a sonnet, a monologue, a scene or a song.”
The cast includes E. Bonnie Lewis, Ken Gilbert, George Coe, Josh Jenkins, Hylla Sue Fischer, Jennifer Marco, Mindy Turano and Mack Urbanowicz. The show runs 80 minutes without an intermission and the cast remains on stage throughout. Center Stage is wheelchair accessible and has the Assistive Listening System in place for people who are hard of hearing.
TALES OF WOO AND WOE
February 6 – 14, 2015
DramaDogs at Center Stage Theater
751 Paseo Nuevo Mall
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tickets: Call (805) 963-0408 or www.centerstagetheater.org