Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And to the Republic

And to the Republic
Adaptation of William Shakespeare
Directed by Geordie Broadwater
Produced by The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project

Nominations: Jacques Roy is nominated for Outstanding Set Design; and Matthew Reeves is nominated for Outstanding Innovative Design for Projection Design

          Photos by Debby Goldman Photography

About this Production

A re-construction of Shakespeare's Roman plays as a modern political thriller. Our American republic has weathered political strife, assassinations, even a civil war. But what if the conspiracy comes from the top? It happened in Rome on March 15th 44 BCE, and the most powerful country on earth, a republic that had endured for more than four hundred years, slipped into the waiting arms of empire. Are we really so different? Could it happen here? What better way to grapple with these questions than through the lens of the most notorious political killing in history and through the words of the greatest writer in history? This production took Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra to the chop shop, stripped them down, and rebuilt them from the ground up as a modern American political thriller, tossing in a few spare parts from Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus along the way.

Designers Jacques Roy and Matthew Reeves talk about deconstructing Shakespeare's Roman political dramas and giving them a modern twist.


What attracted you to this project?

Jacques: The chance to work with a group of ridiculously talented artists that I knew were going to push themselves and the work further than they ever had before.

Matthew: I've been a long time admirer of The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project and their innovative ways of approaching theater.  This project in particular was extremely interesting because of the assimilation of the script and the modern images the company wanted to include. I think any designer would be pumped after reading the play and getting a taste of what the company is trying to achieve.

What was your favorite part of working on this production?

Jacques: The fun of getting to pull a multitude of technical rabbits out of my hat to transform a tiny space into a multitude of locales.

Matthew: Working with great artists always brings out your best.  I felt truly honored to be working with so many people I have admired for a long time.  I was also fortunate that they trusted me to follow my instincts and really create without too many boundaries.  Since this was a "new" play of sorts, I really enjoyed just having a blank slate in which to begin imagining and dreaming how the world might appear.

What was the most challenging part of working on this production?

Jacques: Making something that is, in reality, quite complex look absolutely simple and natural.  Because "any damn fool can make something complicated"

Matthew: I suppose having enough time is always a problem for artists but I'm very proud of what was able to be accomplished during the production.  My biggest concern was making sure that the projections didn't overpower or distract from the live performance. I knew they would be important to establish the modern time, space, and energy of the play and I think because of great direction from Geordie Broadwater and beautiful sound design by David ARE and Dana Haynes we were able to achieve a truly cohesive effect with the performers.

Were there any fun facts about your work on this production?

Jacques: I've been an actor and a technical director for more than 15 years, but this is my first official solo set design.

Matthew: All 44 US Presidents made an appearance in my projection design. I am very grateful that they could take the time out of their busy schedule to be a part of the show. ;)

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