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Guest post by our Antonio, Andy Kirtland!

I’m a journeyman. I have lived and worked in Chicago (3 years), Cincinnati (1 year),
New York City (3 years) and toured the east coast and mid-west before coming to
Pittsburgh last fall. I’ve a working relationship with the New England Shakespeare
Festival since interning there in 2002, and have come to embrace the First Folio Cue-
Script Technique as the basis for all my work with Shakespeare. My girlfriend, Elizabeth
Ruelas, and I have formed the Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project, teaching workshops in
that technique, and directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Two Gentlemen of
Verona for the Unseam’d Shakespeare Company.

This is my second production of the The Tempest. My main responsibility in the last
one was to work the revolve on the stage. I had to step in and play Sebastian when the
actor playing the role had to miss a performance, and when the wife of the actor playing
Alonso went into labor I had to learn his role in 3 hours.

In this production, I play Antonio, about as unsympathetic a character as can be found in
Shakespeare. To win a Dukedom, he puts his brother and his baby niece in a leaky boat
and sets them out to sea. Once marooned on a desert island, when he’s sure no one is
looking, he leaps at the chance to kill his king in order to put a weaker man on the throne
to avoid paying tribute. I look forward to the fun of playing an unabashed, unapologetic
baddie. It is not an opportunity I’ve had in the past.

First Production Meeting

This past Sunday we met for our first production meeting with our Director – Alan, Artistic Director – Jennifer, Assistant Director – Jo, Stage Manager – Lori, Costumer – Lisa, and Propsmistress – Sara (yours truly). We’re still in the very very early stages of production (obviously), but I’m very excited about what’s to come! We have some terrific concepts floating around. Lisa, our costumer, had some really exciting design concepts to show us. We’ll be revealing more later, but I can promise you that the designs will really catch your attention!

Our next priority is putting together a photo shoot for our posters and postcards which will soon be floating around Pittsburgh. I’ll be back soon to let you know how that goes, but I hear there’s some lightning on the agenda!

Auditions for The Tempest (in a Tempest)

We held auditions for our fall production of The Tempest this past weekend in Frick Park. What started out as a very English spring day (40 degrees and overcast) soon turned into an all-out tempest, with gusts of winds, hail, and rain. Our auditioning actors braved it all though, giving monologues in the rain, with or without umbrellas; ratcheting their vocal performances above the din of traffic and rain hitting the tin roof of the picnic area at the Blue Slide Playground; and good-naturedly slipping and sliding on wet playground equipment to demonstrate the lively spirit of our shows. We promised better weather for our show in September.

But the real hero of the day, in my book anyway, was the director’s wife, who brought blankets so we could stay warm during the four hours of auditions. I may have looked ridiculous wrapped up like burrito, in a borrowed hat, and with two left gloves, but at least I could feel my extremities again!

After auditions we headed over to Art All Night in Lawrenceville, where we were given the Acoustic Stage for half an hour. It was a flurry of monologues, music, and general rough-housing (the PSIP way!). It was our first time attending Art All Night, and I think we’ll be back again next year. We love Lawrenceville!

Welcome!

Hi there! Welcome to Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks’ blog. We hope to use this space to talk a bit about our unique company, give you some backstage access to see what goes into our production process by following crew and cast, and reveal some theories and concepts about our shows and Shakespeare in general. We’ll talk about exciting upcoming events, and would love to hear suggestions about what you would like to see!