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Grassroots Shakespeare Company is proud to bring to schools across Utah this years productions of Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing! Click the 'BOOK NOW' button to book a show and/or workshop! For any inquiries contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our uproarious 5-person productions will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your students! Build the foundation for a love of language and the arts by introducing your students to Shakespeare the way that it was intended! When you get a production by Grassroots, don't expect something stiff with dense, hard-to-follow language. The way we do Shakespeare involves speaking directly to the audience, asking them questions and inviting them to respond to keep them engaged. Additionally, Grassroots 'original practice' techniques are easier to follow for students of any age-- We use vivid costuming to convey character, our veteran actors employ exaggerated body language and movements to convey key elements of story and our actors understand which lines to emphasize to illustrate key plot points. Unlike our open-auditions for other productions, our Educational Tour shows only employs our most seasoned veteran actors who have all acted in dozens of original practice Shakespeare productions
We are a 501-C3 non-profit company that brings free and affordable theater all over Utah. We rely on grants and donations to keep our operation running. With your donation, we can continue to bring high-quality shows all across Utah parks for free every year, as well as bring Shakespeare into Utah Schools. This last year we've had to put over $5,000 (and counting) into repairs for our set and truck, so we could use your help now more than ever! Please hit that donate button and be a Bona Fide friend of the Bard!
Your donations are vital to helping us keep our company running and fulfill our mission statement! Even a little bit helps!
Grassroots Shakespeare differs from modern Shakespeare in a couple of key ways. When you see Shakespeare performed in modern times, it is much like seeing any other play-- people gather and take their seats and watch silently, perhaps occasionally clapping in-between scenes. However, this is not the way that Shakespeare was written. Shakespeare was written at a time when their was no fourth wall-- It had not been invented yet! This means that your average theater goer had no inhibitions whatsoever about telling the characters on-stage exactly what they thought about what was happening. Shakespeare knew this and actually wrote his plays with the audiences reactions in mind, even to the point that many lines which appear not to be in iambic pentameter actually are so once the audiences response is present! In Grassroots productions, our actors will speak most dialogue out to the audience, using a technique called 'direct address.' This makes the audience go from being mere spectators to active participants in the play.
Original Practice is when you remove that fourth wall, going back to the Elizabethan theater experience! While this is one of the main thrusts of the Original Practice experience, it is not the only one. Original Practice also means that their is no director. In Shakespeare's day, the play was put on collaboratively by the actors. Likewise, our five-person cast has made all of the decisions for their characters themselves-- with the help and council of their castmates. While this means you won't get a singular vision that a director might bring, it does mean that you get the best ideas to bring the text to life from five minds instead of one.
No costume designer! In Shakespeare's day, all costumes were created by the actors for their own characters. Additionally, in Elizabethan times, there was no period costuming-- actors wore whatever conveyed key elements of their characters best, with no special regard to time period or place. Likewise, you might see our 'Prince' from "Romeo and Juliet" as a bicycle cop, or 'Tybalt' as a 1950's greaser.
No set! In Shakespeare's time, there was no set, just a wooden stage adorned with only a few practical measures, like a log to sit on or perhaps a wand to lull characters to sleep.
A shorter rehearsal period? That's right-- Shakespeare's troupe, The Kings Men, would memorize their lines beforehand and meet sometimes only the day before to go over fights and dances. At Grassroots, our rehearsal period is kept minimal to allow for spontaneous choices and authentic reactions. This is also an important part of the actor-audience collaboration-- every show is going to be different because the audience will be different-- there is little to be gained from hours of rehearsal if the audience is going to cause an actor to make different choices than they made in rehearsal!
Our talented cast hard at work to bring you another quality Grassroots production. Music by Gary Argyle.
William Shakespeare (Othello)