Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf: Photos

Blog submitted by John Tollett

Several more photos from the production of Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf. Wish we had taken more photos.

Orsino (Will McKay) relaxes in one of Meow Wolf's magical spaces.


Ariana Karp (the Captain) plays the cello among audience members during a scene of scene of Twelfth Night.


Orsino (Will McKay) presents a speech to the audience.

Last Performance of Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf: Sold Out!

Blog submitted by John Tollett

Tonight’s performance sold out and the enthusiastic audience rewarded the Ducdame Ensemble with another standing ovation.

One of the audience members sent this message:

Ahhhhhhh, how delicious to have that bit of left overs by reading the blog to enjoy last night anew! It was an astounding evening with the surprises of Meow Wolf, and then that remarkable serving of Shakespeare in all those fantasmagorical spaces. The acting was absolutely SUPERB! The BEST I’ve ever seen in this town. I was drawn right in. I loved the characters, especially the tall ones — can’t remember any of the names. It didn’t bother me a bit that I totally lost track of the story line as I was so engrossed with my fascination with the characters, their make up, the costumes and their facial expressions. It was a feast unto itself. I loved the way they married expressions and attitudes of now with the language of the Bard. Oh it was RICHES galore! I just loved it! It was an evening that far outlives the time spent watching the performance. I internalized so much of their brilliant portrayals. That performance was life-altering!
— Paulette
The Ducdame Ensemble cast of Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf (from top left): Will McKay, Sean Boyd, Nicholas Koy SANTIAGO, Isabel Karp, Ariana Karp, Kelly STRANDEmo, Alexander Kirby, Samantha Blinn, Michael J. Connolly.

The Ducdame Ensemble cast of Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf (from top left): Will McKay, Sean Boyd, Nicholas Koy SANTIAGO, Isabel Karp, Ariana Karp, Kelly STRANDEmo, Alexander Kirby, Samantha Blinn, Michael J. Connolly.

The Ducdame Ensemble ends its Santa Fe visit with two performances of Merchant of Venice: Friday, September 2nd, and Saturday, September 3rd, at the Santa Fe High School Performing Arts Center.

Performance at 8:00 p.m. with a pre-performance talk by Robin Williams at 7:30. 

Another Sold Out Performance at Meow Wolf

Blog submitted by John Tollett

Last night’s ISC production of Twelfth Night by Ducdame Ensemble was the third sold-out performance at Meow Wold in the past week.

The fourth and final Meow Wolf performance will be tonight at 8 p.m., with another great pre-performance talk by Robin Williams at 7:30. 

Ducdame Ensemble, ready for curtain call. Pictured, from  left: Alexander Kirby, Isabel Karp, Will McKay, Michael J. Connolly, Kelly Strandemo, Nicholas Koy Santillo, Samantha Blinn, Sean Boyd, Ariana Karp.

Ducdame Ensemble, ready for curtain call. Pictured, from  left: Alexander Kirby, Isabel Karp, Will McKay, Michael J. Connolly, Kelly Strandemo, Nicholas Koy Santillo, Samantha Blinn, Sean Boyd, Ariana Karp.

Merchant of Venice

Blog submitted by John Tollett

The Ducdame Ensemble performed Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice last Friday and Saturday (August 26th & 27th) at the Santa Fe High School Performing Arts Center.

The final two performances of Merchant of Venice will be this Friday and Saturday (September 2nd & 3rd). 

Kelly Strandemo prepares backstage for her role as Portia.

Kelly Strandemo prepares backstage for her role as Portia.

Ariana Karp as Launcelet.

Ariana Karp as Launcelet.

Michael J. Connolly as Tubal.

Michael J. Connolly as Tubal.

An arrogant, tennis-playing suitor (Nicholas Koy Santillo) fails to impress Portia.

An arrogant, tennis-playing suitor (Nicholas Koy Santillo) fails to impress Portia.

A brash Texan-styled suitor (Sean Boyd) attempts to impress Portia.

A brash Texan-styled suitor (Sean Boyd) attempts to impress Portia.

BEFORE THE COURT TRIAL, Antonio (Will McKay) resigns himself to forfeiting his bond of a pound of flesh to Shylock as his friends look on.

BEFORE THE COURT TRIAL, Antonio (Will McKay) resigns himself to forfeiting his bond of a pound of flesh to Shylock as his friends look on.

Musicians (Michael J. Connolly and Ariana Karp) comfort Portia (Kelly Strandemo) as she waits for her favorite suitor, Bassanio, to solve the riddle that will win her hand in marriage.

Musicians (Michael J. Connolly and Ariana Karp) comfort Portia (Kelly Strandemo) as she waits for her favorite suitor, Bassanio, to solve the riddle that will win her hand in marriage.

Jessica (Samantha Blinn) comforts Lorenzo (Will McKay).

Jessica (Samantha Blinn) comforts Lorenzo (Will McKay).

Shylock (Sean Boyd) prepares to claim the pound of flesh that Antonio owes him.

Shylock (Sean Boyd) prepares to claim the pound of flesh that Antonio owes him.

Bassanio (Alexander Kirby) celebrates with Antonio (Will McKay) after shylock loses the court case.

Bassanio (Alexander Kirby) celebrates with Antonio (Will McKay) after shylock loses the court case.

Twelfth Night: Pre-performance Talk at Meow Wolf

Blog submitted by John Tollett

Robin Williams gives a pre-performance talk to early arrivals at Meow Wolf for Ducdame Ensemble's presentation of Twelfth Night. This was the second of four performances scheduled at Meow Wolf. The next two performances are Monday, August 29 and Tuesday, August 30. Pre-performance talks are at 7:30 p.m., performances are at 8 p.m. 

Here's quote from Kelly, an audience member at Tuesday night's performance.

Freakin’ Twelfth Night!!
Just had to say....
The D’s (Ducdame Ensemble) totally KILLED IT last night!!!! What a blast of Twelfth Night . . . FINALLY!
Amazing ensemble work, inspired wit and clear communication, amazing staging, makeup, textual cuts . . . Pat and I had a BLAST!
Please thank all the actors again for their beautiful work, in case we didn’t gush enough last night!!

Robin presents a synopsis of the play and introduces the characters that appear in Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf

Blog submitted by John Tollett

The Ducdame Ensemble of actors are in town to perform for the International Shakespeare Center's inaugural repertory season in Santa Fe. Nine Ducdame members traveled to Santa Fe from New York, Canada, and beyond, to perform Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Meow Wolf, an amazing art gallery/collective/experience located in a former bowling alley, although once inside, you're totally convinced you're in a weird, two-story, Victorian house named House of Eternal Return. Ducdame created an immersive theater experience, with the audience following the actors from space to freaky space for different scenes of the play, eventually ending up in the performance stage area (an appropriately weird but inspiring space) that worked amazing well.

One thrilled audience member, Suzanne, wrote the following review:

I was lucky enough to have one day off my own rehearsal schedule to see TWELFTH NIGHT AT MEOW WOLF last night and I realized half-way through I was grinning like a loony as I watched Malvolio cavort in his cross-garters (the costume gives that phrase entirely ew meaning), poor Sir Andrew gulled, Sir Toby roaring, Maria plotting, Feste’s melancholy and eery singing (we followed him like a slightly sinister Pied Piper through the corridors of Meow Wolf from one staging location to another), dear Viola and Sebastian meeting at last, and - not meaning to give away secrets! - a performance by Olivia I shall never ever forget! It was exuberant, witty, understandable, deeply sensitive to the text, but with a trippingly comedic pulse - just enough shtick to make the audience laugh continually - to catch both the humor and the more-than-tingle-of-melancholy in this lovely comedy. Cheers to the entire cast - if I singled them out for praise I’d list ‘em all anyway. It will be a performance I’ll always remember. Bravo cast and Bravo dear Captain Karp (in-joke, that) for another lovely show!
Congratulations to the lot of you!

The Ducdame Ensemble's performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was not only a sellout, it received a robust standing ovation. Later that night, back at the International Shakespeare Center Santa Fe headquarters, the members of the ensemble gathered for several toasts and merriment ensued.

Left side, clockwise from top: Alexander Kirby, Isabel Karp (stage manager), Samantha Blinn, Kelly Strandemo, Sean Boyd. Right side, from the top: Michael J. Connolly, Will McKay, Ariana Karp, Nicholas Koy Santillo.

Left side, clockwise from top: Alexander Kirby, Isabel Karp (stage manager), Samantha Blinn, Kelly Strandemo, Sean Boyd.
Right side, from the top: Michael J. Connolly, Will McKay, Ariana Karp, Nicholas Koy Santillo.

The Cast of Twelfth Night:

Filming with Robert Benedetti

Robert Benedetti and Nicholas Ballas in a scene from King Henry Iv, Part 1

Robert Benedetti and Nicholas Ballas in a scene from King Henry Iv, Part 1

 

Okay, it's a little intimidating. All right. A lot intimidating to be doing a short film for a man who won produced Emmy and Peabody award-winning films multiple times. And who was Dean of Theater at Cal Arts for eight years. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of Robert Benedetti’s impressive biography.

Ariana Karp, Samantha Blinn, Anna Farkas, and I sat down at the Teahouse on Canyon Road to talk over storyboard for the shoot. It would be a scene from King Henry IV, Part 1, where Falstaff meets Prince Hal before a battle and then gives the remarkable soliloquy on honor. The speech is a famous one and in our opinions, Benedetti practically owns it. He performed it at a fundraiser for the ISC back in April and since then I can’t really hear anyone do Falstaff but him.

international Shakespeare center Santa Fe
 

The tea meeting was awe-inspiring—we all felt lucky to just be there listening to “Beny’s” stories and picking up tips for the upcoming filming. After a month of wrangling with SAG-AFTRA contract papers, nailing down a suitable venue, and getting everyone organized, there was something of a thrill to feel the project coming together.

Also performing in the scene was Nicholas Ballas—known to many in Santa Fe as the owner of Cowgirl, and also familiar to as respected actor on our local stages. Ballas had been one of Benedetti’s students at Cal Arts (I’ve had a recurring feeling that I must have bumped into him when I was also in grad school in SoCal for fine arts at the same time, but I can’t say where).

There’s a powerful bond between the two actors that this scene seems to particularly illustrate. When Hal kisses Falstaff’s cheek in a gentle parting, you can feel the tenderness of the relationship. Yes, they’re professional actors, but in this scene one feels something more—a lifelong affection.

international shakespeare center santa fe
 

Filming day was cold but sunny—good for the natural light coming in the chapel skylight at The Lodge at Santa Fe. Samantha Blinn did the video, Ariana Karp the sound (thanks to Nancy Tabet for holding the boom!). All went smoothly. Not many takes were needed, but it was a joy having the chance to watch these two actors replay segments of the scene for each shot. Each performance was a gem and I found myself unexpectedly moved to tears during Hal’s departure. Our time there was truly golden. I, for one, wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

See the clip here on our ISC YouTube channel. 

INTERNATIONAL SHAKESPEARE CENTER SANTA FE
 

Youth Shakespeare Festival launches!

It was a classic Santa Fe summer evening—blue skies and warm sun, shifting to a breeze that promised rain. Joe Farkas manned The Mermaid Tavern’s impressive gas grill, dishing up burgers, sausages and chicken. Robin Williams made a delectable fruit pie. 

Leslie Hale of Santa Fe Prep, Kathleen Phelan, Alicia Fritz, and David Miles of Santa Fe Indian School, joined Peggy Laurel, Breshaun Joyner, Robin Williams, John Tollett, Joe Farkas, Anna Farkas, and Caryl Farkas in discussing plans for the schools’ participation in the  ISC’s Youth Shakespeare Festival. Dana Darby Johnson of ATC, Joey Chavez of NMSA, and Chase Morrison of St. Michael's missed out on an amazing afternoon but are on board for the Festival.

Watching performances by Upstart Crows of Santa Fe

Watching performances by Upstart Crows of Santa Fe

Educators, peach pie, and ice cream—a can't-miss combination

Educators, peach pie, and ice cream—a can't-miss combination

After dinner, Upstart Crows of Santa Fe’s Sterling White, Olivia White, Elizabeth Van Dyke, Joy Farkas, and Anna Farkas performed scenes from As You Like It, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar. In true Crows style, they got their scenes in the morning and had them ready to go by 7 p.m. 

Olivia White as Falstaff, Joy Farkas as Prince Hal, Elizabeth Van dyke and Sterling White as Eastcheap tavern guests. in a scene from King Henry IV, Part 1

Olivia White as Falstaff, Joy Farkas as Prince Hal, Elizabeth Van dyke and Sterling White as Eastcheap tavern guests. in a scene from King Henry IV, Part 1

Anna Farkas, Elizabeth Van Dyke, and Olivia White as Ophelia, Laertes, and Polonius,  in a scene from Hamlet.

Anna Farkas, Elizabeth Van Dyke, and Olivia White as Ophelia, Laertes, and Polonius,  in a scene from Hamlet.

Anna Farkas and Elizabeth Van Dyke

Anna Farkas and Elizabeth Van Dyke

The evening wound up with discussions of various film versions of Shakespearean plays—a little geeky, but that’s pretty much how we all roll.

Looking forward to working with these enthusiastic high school teachers and more from ATC, NMSA and St. Michael's in preparing the fall program.

Our expanding Five-Minute Shakespeare in Santa Fe project

Our Five-Minute Shakespeare in Santa Fe project has now reached the point where I can binge-watch ISC videos. Having spent the morning doing just that, I can say that the nine clips currently up on our YouTube page provide a most enjoyable hour-plus with great scenes, fine acting, and familiar Santa Fe locations. There are classic Santa Fe interiors, iconic sites such as the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Scottish Rite Temple, and there’s even an inside joke—Quinn Mander doing one of Cassius’ speeches from Julius Caesar, filmed at the Eldorado Community Center: locals will recognize the site as the scene of the recent, much-in-the-news backyard-chicken lawsuit drama. With an enthusiastic effort going on to unseat a member of the Eldorado board of directors who instigated the lawsuits, the filmmakers thought it seemed the perfect place for a little pop-up Julius Caesar!

Have a look, if you haven’t already (and if you have, have another binge!). I could watch Kelly Kiernan, Barbara Hatch, Anna Farkas, and Sterling White do that scene from Antony and Cleopatra all day.

We just got an email from a viewer saying this about the Muse of Fire clip:

“A friend of my wife’s was visiting, who knows absolutely nothing of Shakespeare and possesses not the least literary culture, so I did a little comparison game. We showed her first a video of Kenneth Branagh’s Muse of Fire, and then the ISC version. “Which of the two did you like best?”      

Answer? “The ISC Muse of Fire.”.  

Why? “Because I understood Shakespeare’s words better.”

If you are a poet, these things are very, very important. I have a Kenneth friend who writes for Ars Pulchra Magazine who actually agrees with me that the ISC team “liberated Shakespeare’s text.”

Music to our ears.  

I’ve heard from numerous people that Paul Walsky completely owns Shylock in his clip from Merchant of Venice, and that Ariana Karp and Quinn Mander’s Beatrice and Benedick contains some exquisite acting. I have to say that Ariana very effectively turns a condominium patio at Campanilla Compound in Santa Fe into Richard II’s prison cell (complete with haunting avian background).

And now there’s more to love: Robyn Rikoon does a lovely Juliet waiting for her Romeo at director Suzanne Lederer’s home. Robert Benedetti and Nicholas Ballas perform a Falstaff and Hal that actually brought tears to my eyes during the filming. And then there’s Quinn’s persuasive and dangerous Cassius, shot in a quintessentially Santa Fe light that adds an extra dimension of its own to the text.

Enjoy!

ISC Workshop at SFUAD

Antonio and Sebastian, characters in Twelfth Night, have been declared OTP (One True Pairing):

international Shakespeare Center Santa Fe

What an engaging start to our 2-1/2 hours with the Santa Fe University of Art and Design “Shakespeare and Gender Studies” class!

The prompt was simple: Bring in three or so scenes to perform from Twelfth Night and Macbeth. The students wanted to see the wyrd sisters from Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, and Antonio and Sebastian from Twelfth Night. Associate Artistic Directors Anna Farkas and Ariana Karp and Ducdame Ensemble actor Samantha Blinn were delighted to oblige:

The actors warmed up the class with a bewitching (and apparently, ’90s rap video-esque) adaptation of the wyrd sisters from Macbeth. They developed an open dialogue with the students, discussing the wide range of interpretive possibilities, referencing such interpretations as Rupert Goold’s terrifying nurses in his film adaptation with Patrick Stuart (featuring Ariana and Samantha’s former teacher Scott Handy as Malcolm—love you, Scott!) and the episode of Macbeth in the TV mini-series, Shakespeare Retold, where the wyrd sisters were garbage collectors. The emphasis was on many possible interpretations, especially to do with gender identity and ambiguity, that is already explicit in the text.

Recruiting a student from the class to play the messenger (who gave a wonderfully enthusiastic performance), they then dove into the “letter scene,” the first scene in which Lady Macbeth appears. They first discussed film interpretations of character. Ariana brought up the famous RSC production with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in which during the lines “Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ Of direst cruelty,” Dench appears to be terrified by the very spirits she invokes. It complicates the culturally received idea of her as solely a cruel and ambitious woman. They explained to the class that as an actor, you can never morally “judge” your character, you must find a way in, a way to empathize.

Next, Anna and Ariana performed the famous “Was the hope drunk?” scene in the way they had personally interpreted the relationship. Asking the class how their performance differed from how the students had theorized the relationship between the two characters, a few mentioned that they had never seen the relationship as being founded on love, so the performance was surprising to them. Offering to play the scene as a relationship devoid of affection, our actors then improvised an interpretation which included some raised voices, hair pulling, and a slap! This was a hit and prompted a discussion of how both interpretations could work, depending on what story you wanted to tell.

The Sebastian/Antonio scene from Twelfth Night was of particular interest to the class because of the two characters’ seemingly complex and, possibly, romantic relationship. Samantha and Ariana first performed the scene with the given circumstance that Antonio was in love with Sebastian, but had not confessed his love. The class then asked to see a version where both characters were in denial about their attraction to each other, and so were fully “bro”-ing out, trying to impress one another by their feats of battle and courage. Then, per the class’s request, Sam and Ariana then switched characters and performed the scene as if the two characters had had an affair, but Sebastian was trying to gently end the relationship in the scene. Each version had fans. We discussed how, once again, each different interpretation told a different story, using the same text!

international Shakespeare Center Santa Fe

My favorite part of the evening came next: The students asked to see scenes from King Lear, which they had just started reading. By happy coincidence, Ariana just happens to have most of the play committed to memory. She could spontaneously give them the infamous “Ay, every inch a king!” speech that occurs late in the play while Lear is in throes of madness, and then tie in the overt sexual nature of the imagery in many of the mad scenes to the class curriculum.

international Shakespeare Center Santa Fe

By this time the students were totally into the conversation and participating as fellow directors. We were able to get six of them up on their feet to play Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, Albany, Cornwall, Gloucester, and Edmund in the first scene of the play, with Ariana as Lear and Samantha as Kent. It was a blast.

international Shakespeare Center Santa Fe

We wrapped up with a little talk about about the implications of the first scene and how as an actor, you must keep in mind what is happening to the character in the moment and not play the end of the play at the beginning.

All in all we had a magnificent time with the SFUAD students and their instructor and we hope to continue working with them to creatively color the study of Shakespeare with the hue of performance!

First Folio Exhibit a Big Success!

In a recent letter to the editor of the New Mexican newspaper, Mary Kershaw, Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art, shared the attendance for the First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare exhibit.

She reported that "that attendance hit nearly 14,000 while the Folio was on show".  This is more than attended the Renaissance to Goya exhibit in 2014.  This is remarkable in that the First Folio exhibit will be available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, while Santa Fe was the only location in the nation for the Goya.

Kershaw also reported that normal February attendance at the museum is around 3,600. This means the First Folio exhibit brought in nearly four times the number of visitors to the museum in February.

Rodney Cottier, Head of Drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, leads a workshop at the International Folk Art Museum.

Rodney Cottier, Head of Drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, leads a workshop at the International Folk Art Museum.

These numbers do not include attendance at events offered in conjunction with the exhibit. For example, ISC Board Members Kristin Bundesen and Robin Williams both lectured at the St. Francis auditorium at the Museum of Art with exceptional attendance. Renesan offered up a series of events. Ducdame performed Dames of Thrones to a sold out audience, and LAMDA teaching artists Joanna Read, Rodney Cottier, and Judith Philips taught workshops with attendance reaching upwards of 95 people!

Dames of Thrones - performed by the Ducdame Ensemble.

Dames of Thrones - performed by the Ducdame Ensemble.

There were more New Mexico Shakespeare events scheduled in February than there were days in February - and 2016 was a leap year!

 

#Shakespeare400

A big THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Shakespeare Birthday party at the Form & Concept gallery on April 23!

Our essential volunteers and ISC Board Member Sarah Maxwell greeting guests.

Our essential volunteers and ISC Board Member Sarah Maxwell greeting guests.

We live-tweeted the event using the #Shakespeare400 hashtag.  Thefire hose volume of tweets using this hashtag was so great that it was impossible to read them.  Tweets flowed by in Arabic, several Eastern and Asian languages, as well as all the European and Germanic languages. Globally the hashtag trended quite high reaching the top of the list in Sweden according to @SwedenTrending. 

Watching A SCENE ON THE BALCONY.

Watching A SCENE ON THE BALCONY.

Shakespeare's global reach was evident starting with that day's Google Doodle.

The New York Times published a witty obituary - 400 years after the fact but fun indeed. All the places you would expect were tweeting - the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Folger Library, The Globe in London, The various Shakespeare festivals around the world and UNESCO - not necessarily an expected participant n the global celebrations.

April 23 is accepted as both the date William Shakespeare was born and the date that he died.  It also happens to be, conveniently, St. George's Day, the patron saint of England. Celebrating the national saint day and a national hero - his birth or death - at the same time displays a certain economy of effort to be sure.

Stay tuned for more information about the projects the ISC announced at our own party.

 

YOU'RE INVITED! Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday with the ISC!

ISC Birthday Launch Party.jpg

International Shakespeare Center
Hosts Shakespeare’s Birthday Party

Global celebrations commemorate Shakespeare on April 23

Celebrations to commemorate Shakespeare will appear around the world on April 23. The International Shakespeare Center supports these activities by throwing a Shakespeare Birthday Party which also serves as our official launch party. The ISC will announce upcoming events and future plans for making Santa Fe a destination for all things Shakespeare.

WHO: International Shakespeare Center

WHAT: Shakespeare Birthday Party - FREE - open to the public

WHEN: April 23, 2016  •  2 - 4 p.m.

WHERE: Zane Bennett Gallery, The Railyard, 435 S. Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM

Enjoy birthday cake, party games, performances, and the debut of the ISC YouTube channel featuring scenes from Shakespeare’s plays filmed in iconic Santa Fe locations. Information and participation opportunities for future projects such as our summer repertory season, national reading initiative, and youth Shakespeare festival will be available.

Members of the Ducdame Ensemble, seen in Santa Fe’s February First Folio celebrations in the sold-out performance of Dames of Thrones, will perform scenes along with both the ISC’s Associate Artistic Directors, Anna Farkas and Arianna Karp. Robert Benedetti, an iSC Advisory Board member and multiple Peabody and Emmy award-winning actor/director, will also perform.

“After an incredibly successful February celebrating Shakespeare's First Folio, we really want to thank the entire Santa Fe community,” says Caryl Farkas, President of the ISC. “This will be a fun event with balloons, cake, and pop-up performances, but most importantly, we are excited to share our future plans with the public.”

DID YOU KNOW ---

Although the historical record provides no proof, academic consensus accepts that William Shakespeare’s birth and death date is April 23, which is also St. George’s Day, England’s patron saint. This year is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616. Celebrations in Santa Fe were kicked off with the First Folio!: The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art and ISC community programming in February.

 

Best of Santa Fe - Does the ISC win your vote?

WHEW!

First Folio February is over and it was a raging success!  We can't thank you enough for attending so many events and showing such fantastic support for all things Shakespeare. 

The ISC board members crawled under the covers and binge-watching Korean TV or anything-from-the-BBC-with-costumes for the first half of March.  But that doesn't mean there isn't lots on board for the rest of the year.  We have events planned out through 2017!

In the meantime though, we would be honored and delighted if you would nominate the International Shakespeare Center as the best non-profit in the Santa Fe Reporter’s annual competition for “Best of Santa Fe.”

Go to the link below; click “Local Living”; scroll to “Best Non-Profit”; then type in “International Shakespeare Center.”

http://sfreporter.secondstreetapp.com/l/Best-of-Santa-Fe-2016/Ballot

No stuffing the electronic ballot box—you can only vote once per email address.

While you are there, also consider voting for:

  • Upstart Crows of Santa Fe in the “Best Youth Group” category (Local Living) - How can you resist 10-18 years olds performing full text Shakespeare?  Last year they did Julius Caesar and The Winter's Tale.  Look for Henry IV part 1 later this year.
  • Santa Fe Shakespeare Close Readers in the “Best Club” category (Arts & Entertainment). This is the most active Shakespeare close reading group in the country.  Right now the morning group is working through Titus Andronicus.  The afternoon group is doing a 'close-enough' read of Henry VI part 2.

You can follow the Best of Santa Fe 2016 at: @BestofSantaFe  #BOSF2016

STAY TUNED FOR MORE ANNOUNCEMENTS  . . . .  

Join the Shakespeare Treasure Hunt in Downtown Santa Fe

The ISC and more than a dozen Santa Fe merchants, the New Mexico History Museum, and Palace Press has put together a free family fun event in celebration of the exhibit First Folio: The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Look for these "Wanted" posters downtown!

Look for these "Wanted" posters downtown!

Pick up your free treasure map, a treasure bag, and clever Shakespearean clues at the History Museum. Match the Shakespearean clue with the appropriate downtown shop on your treasure map (hint: look for Shakespeare Wanted posters in the windows), then go in and speak the speech—say aloud the Shakespearean line from your clue! If your line is correct, the wonderful shopkeeper will mark an X on the spot on your map and give you a treasure to put in your bag.

 At the end of your hunt, stop in to the New Mexico Museum of Art to view Shakespeare’s First Folio! Also, you can “Check In” on your Facebook account using #ShakespeareSF to post a photo of your favorite treasure item, along with any comments about your hunt and what you learned about Shakespeare.

 “You get to poke around downtown while quoting Shakespeare and gathering treasure,” said Robin Williams, ISC co-founder and organizer of the hunt. “What more fun can you have on a cold, wintry day?” As the playwright, or Cerimon in Pericles, says, “Balmed and entreasured, with full bags of spices!”

Start the hunt by picking up your treasure map at the New Mexico History Museum during regular museum hours starting on Saturday, February 6. (Remember the museum is closed on Mondays this time of year!) The hunt runs through February 28 but hurry because participation is limited to the first 200. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is needed.






It's Begun!

First Folio February has begun!  Founding board member Dr. Kristin Bundesen gave the kick off lecture at the St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Wednesday at noon. The museum usually expects about 50 people for these lunchtime talks, but thanks to all our supporters, the audience swelled to over 200 people.

Sara VanNote, Education Director of the museum, was a great supporter of the event - even when Kristin ran into some technical problems. 

Thank you to Karen Radney Buller - The historic St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Thank you to Karen Radney Buller - The historic St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art

The lecture covered some basics about the First Folio, how it was printed, the possible editorial process, as well as a bit of information about The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Folgers themselves.

Thank you to Karen Radney Buller for the image - The St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art starts to fill up!

Thank you to Karen Radney Buller for the image - The St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art starts to fill up!

Kristin managed to figure out how to connect Joan Didion, Marshall McLuhan, and Michel Foucault to the value and importance of the First Folio to our sense of humanity.  She also showed the opening scene from Hamlet in the Klingon language.  Trekkies are big Shakespeare fans as well!

The exhibit opens next Saturday with a public opening reception the evening before. The same night is the opening for The Book's the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Play at the New Mexico History Museum curated by Tom Leach of the History Museum and Dr. Robin Williams, ISC founding board member.

Next week, Dr. Robin Williams will be leading a reading workshop at the Main Library in downtown Santa Fe.  She will also be leading a class at Renesan on Hamlet's famous To be, or not to be speech.  Bring your lunch so you can stay till the afternoon when Kristin is giving a lecture on what Shakespeare got wrong in history.

First Folio February Begins Next Week!

The First Folio

The First Folio

First Folio February is literally days away!  There's so much going on, it's hard to keep track! We thought it might be a good moment to share the history of how we got here!

In June 2014, one of the co-organizers of the Santa Fe Shakespeare Close Readers, Edie Murphy, brought the announcement of Shakespeare's First Folio project - funded by The National Endowment for the Humanities and The Folger Shakespeare Library -  to her co-organizers, Dr. Robin Williams and Dr. Kristin Bundesen. Only one town in each state was going to be selected through an application process to display the First Folio for a month in 2016.

Within a fortnight, we had read through the application process, Robin had broken it down in detail, contacted the Folger Shakespeare Institute, assembled a list of possible venues in the state and community partners, and started the process of assembling the strongest possible application. We started talking about the project with our family and friends.

The excitement was contagious!  

The grant requirements for a host venue were very specific and stringent. The venue had to have 24/7 security, archival-level climate controls, accommodate the case for the First Folio as well as the requisite display panels. There are only a handful of places in Santa Fe that meet these requirements. The museums were an obvious choice - but which one?

Museum Hill in Santa Fe. Home to four museums.

Museum Hill in Santa Fe. Home to four museums.

Kristin’s daughter, Hannah Hoel, had collaborated with Merry Scully, a curator at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and suggested we pitch her. Within minutes of an email introduction, Merry replied with “we would love to talk about this” and asked for a phone number. Within days, we were meeting with Merry Scully and Mary Kershaw, Director of the Museum. 

New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art

The application required two scholars-of-record and a long list of community partners. Kristin and Robin were the obvious choice for scholars-of-record as they both have PhDs in the field and had brought the program to the museum's attention in the first place. Between them, letters of commitment were gathered from scholars at the ‘great books’ institution, St. John’s College; the director of Library Services at the Institute for American Indian Arts; the Friends of the Santa Fe Library; Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning; John Andrews, Director of the Shakespeare Guild; Dr. Robert Benedetti, New Mexico Actors Lab, Emmy and Peabody award-winning producer; and of course the Close Readers group. Kristin and Robin also developed a long list of creative activities to promote public interest in and community involvement with the Folio project. See the Treasure Hunt project for one such activity.

In the midst of this, Carmen Vendelin joined the Museum as a curator and took on the responsibilities of Program Director. She had the enormous task of pulling all the disparate pieces together for the long and complex application. October 2014 seemed like an endless email exchange editing the application materials to meet content and word-count restrictions. A quick check of Kristin’s email archive shows 300+ email messages between 9/29 and 10/23 gathering material and crafting responses. 

The application was successful! Santa Fe won! In August 2015 when Kristin met with some of the Folger staff working on the First Folio project, they all commented on the strength of our application.  We could not have done it without our Readers!

So that’s how Santa Fe got the First Folio!

What started as a project to support the exhibit has since turned into a full blown organization - International Shakespeare Center - us!  Please visit our projects and events pages for the latest and the greatest list of events. (There have been some errors in some of the calendar listings - with so much going on this is hardly surprising!)

World-Renowned LAMDA Theater Faculty to Offer Workshops as Part of First Folio February

We are thrilled to host three senior faculty members from the world-famous London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in Santa Fe as part of our First Folio February celebration. 

LAMDA one of the finest performing arts conservatories in the world, is the oldest drama school in the United Kingdom. Graduates include Benedict Cumberbatch (Hamlet, The Imitation Game, Sherlock, Star Trek: Into Darkness), Dame Harriet Walters (Downton Abbey, Atonement, Sense and Sensibility), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun, Interstellar, Shrek), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, The Martian), Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Saving Mr. Banks), and many others. Alumnae have earned more than eight Academy Awards, 42 British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAS), and 33 Golden Globe awards and nominations. 

LAMDA Principal Joanna Read, Rodney Cottier as Head of Drama School, and Judith Phillips as Head of Voice, will offer workshops the week of February 15. Student discounts available for all workshops.

Joanna Read, Principal of the london Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, teaching a workshop

Joanna Read, Principal of the london Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, teaching a workshop

Using the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet as a starting point, Ms. Read’s interactive workshop explores two of Shakespeare’s most famous characters and investigates how character can be discovered from the text. A tea-and-scones reception will begin the workshop. Judith Phillips’ workshop explores Shakespeare’s sonnets through voice and body, breathing life into the literary form. And Rodney Cottier conducts a master class on Shakespeare’s First Folio through a lively history of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, exploring questions of Elizabethan staging in contemporary performance. Discounted tickets are available for students and observers.

"This is a rare opportunity for New Mexicans to gain exposure to some of the best theater faculty in the world,” says Caryl Farkas, President of the ISC Board of Directors. “We invite professionals, students, and those who are just curious about what it takes to train as an actor to these three workshops.”

Romeo & Juliet: Clues on Creating Character, taught by Joanna Read, will be on Tuesday, February 16, 5:00–8:00 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe. Includes tea and scones reception. $30 per person/$15 for students.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Finding Meaning in the Text, taught by Judith Phillips, will be on Thursday, February 18, 1:30—3:00 p.m. at the New Mexico History Museum in downtown Santa Fe. $25 per person/$15 for students and observers. Master Class: Shakespeare’s First Folio, taught by Rodney Cottier, will be on Friday, February 19, 5:00–7:30 p.m. at the International Folk Art Museum. No special preparation required, but please bring any edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works. $30 per person/$15 for students and observers.

Master Class: Shakespeare’s First Folio, taught by Rodney Cottier, will be on Friday, February 19, 5:00–7:30 p.m. at the International Folk Art Museum. No special preparation required, but please bring any edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works. $30 per person/$15 for students and observers.

Actors of all levels welcomed as well as Readers, and Observers.  Tickets can be purchased at TicketsSantaFe.org.



ISC Board Members Robin and Kristin on New Mexico PBS

Robin Williams, Lorene Mills, and Kristin Bundesen right after our interview on Report From Santa Fe, New Mexico PBS.

Robin Williams, Lorene Mills, and Kristin Bundesen right after our interview on Report From Santa Fe, New Mexico PBS.

UPDATE: If you missed the show, you can now stream it from the Report from Santa Fe site.  A BIG Thank you to Lorene who brings out the best in everyone.

Robin Williams and Kristin Bundesen had the privilege of being interviewed by veteran journalist Lorene Mills for her show Report From Santa Fe in her studio in the New Mexico State Capitol building last week. We talked about the extensive activities happening around the First Folio February celebrations and the New Mexico Museum of Art exhibit The First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare opening on February 5, 2016 as well as the history of reading Shakespeare.

Lorene has been an enthusiastic supporter of the International Shakespeare Center Santa Fe vision since the early days of 2014. Her continued support of our development has cheered us on since then.

Kristin Bundesen and Robin Williams, speaking, in the Report from Santa Fe studio

Kristin Bundesen and Robin Williams, speaking, in the Report from Santa Fe studio

Here is a brief excerpt from New Mexico PBS on the interview:

Drs. Williams and Bundesen detail the many events surrounding the exhibit by more than 15 partnering organizations--events which include classical theater performances of Shakespeare's “Hamlet” and “The Winter's Tale,” public lectures with international Shakespeare scholars, concerts, films, world class theater training, and readings. There will also be fun events including a Comic Book Shakespeare workshop, a Treasure Hunt in downtown Santa Fe, a Shakespeare-inspired Valentine's Day extravaganza and more.
Participating 15 New Mexico organizations include the NM History Museum, the Lensic Performing Arts Center, St. John's College, Santa Fe Community Orchestra, and the International Shakespeare Center. Other collaborators include the London Academy of Music and the Dramatic Arts, which will present world-class acting workshops and a masterclass on the First Folio, and the New York theater ensemble group Ducdame. The artists in the Book Arts Group have created books relating to the texts of Shakespeare which will be on display at the NM History Museum, “The Book's the Thing: Shakespeare from Page to Stage.”


Lorene Mills, Kristin Bundesen and Robin Williams in the studio.

Lorene Mills, Kristin Bundesen and Robin Williams in the studio.

The show will air:

New Mexico PBS channel KNME-HD 5.1, Albuquerque/Santa Fe: Sunday 1/10 8:00am
KENW-TV channel 3, Portales: Saturday … 6:00pm
KRWG-TV channel 22, Las Cruces: Sunday … 8:00am
KANW-FM 89.1 radio, Albuquerque: Monday … 9:30am

A HUGE thank you to Lorene for this interview!

Two rising talents appointed as Associate Artistic Directors

 We are thrilled to welcome Ariana Karp and Anna Farkas as Associate Artistic Directors!

Associate Artistic Director Ariana Karp

Associate Artistic Director Ariana Karp

Ariana Karp has been named Associate Artistic Director of the International Shakespeare Center Santa Fe. Ms. Karp will be directing Dames of Thrones: Women in Shakespeare’s Histories at the Adobe Rose theater as part of the ISC’s First Folio February celebration. She was most recently on stage as Pa Ubu in Ubu Rex in New York City. She is a founding member of the New York City-based Ducdame Ensemble and directed their award-winning revival of Fuente Ovejuna for the FringeNYC 2015 festival. She is a core member of Stairwell Theater, a producer and director of Tabling: The Podcast. She holds a BA in Literature-Theatre at Reed College and graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) with an MA in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre.

Associate Artistic Director Anna Farkas. Photo by Charlotte Louise of East Photography

Associate Artistic Director Anna Farkas. Photo by Charlotte Louise of East Photography

Anna Farkas has also been named Associate Artistic Director of the International Shakespeare Center Santa Fe. Ms. Farkas is directing the 5-minute Shakespeare video project that will include clips from each play in Shakespeare’s First Folio shot in iconic Santa Fe locations. The videos will be hosted on the ISC video channel starting Spring 2016. She is also producing Speak the Speech: Directors’ Cuts showcase to be presented February 21, 1:00-3:00 pm at the St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art. She is the Artistic Director of the the youth Shakespeare performance group Upstart Crows of Santa Fe.   

“The appointment of two young women of such extraordinary talent reflects the ISC’s intention to support up and coming artists.” says Kristin Bundesen, cofounder and ISC Board Member. “We look forward to supporting their artistic visions in the coming years.”