Friday, February 24, 2012


Austin Live Theater reviewed our "Hamlet" yesterday.  Thanks very much, Michael! 

Michael Meigs asks the question:  why do "Hamlet?"  He also answers his own question: 
Doing Hamlet, doing Macbeth, doing Romeo and Juliet, doing Waiting for Godot -- these are immensely rewarding experiences for an acting company. Assimilating oneself with these characters, with their plights, their struggles and their emotions can become transcendent. There comes a time late in rehearsal and then in performance when the company enters that sacred space
That, and...well...they're there, you know?  They are stories worth telling.  Of course, there is always the other thing--Playing Hamlet puts one in a position that has been occupied by some of the greatest actors of all time.  Kevin has read the same words, processed the same emotions, struggled with the same demons as those exalted types such as Laurence Oliver and Kenneth Brannaugh. 

Michael said this about Sam Bass: 
About once a year they stretch. Not a little, but a lot. In 2008 with Romeo and Juliet and in 2010 with Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett's mid-20th century absurdist existentialist masterpiece. In 2011 with Frank Benge's magical steam-punk Tempest Project, memorably designed by Kevin Scholtes.
That's what I have always wanted Sam Bass to do.  The second play I did, and the one where I met Jim, was one of those "stretches," called "Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean," and, right then, I knew that was what I wanted to do.  To tell the stories that a lot of people think should not be told, or, at least, need to be tidied up to make them "nice."

Life is not "nice."  Sticking our heads in the sand and singing "la la la" works for short periods of time, but eventually we need to face life in all its glory, and in all its sticky, messy, dirty, cussing ebullience and depression.

PS:  Hamlet does look pretty, now, doesn't he?  So does Ophelia.

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