Long time gone.
When I last left you, summer was waning, and ANDRONICUS was still on the horizon for a late September run. As I check the calendar, it is now nearly Halloween…
So, how was the run, Bill?
What run? COVID struck again, and we have delayed it AGAIN until 2021. I know I’m going to lose even more cast, but it is what it is in a year of what it is is …. well, to call it “messed up” would be understating just a wee bit, no?
The Elite, where ANDRONICUS would have run its course, has been doing some streaming stuff, and the Artistic Director was bemoaning the lack of a “Halloween” show. So, I started thinking:
I hate Zoom (I like it for rehearsals, if I have to; but for performance? … it just doesn’t do it for me), especially for anything with more than two faces.
What Shakespeare play could I reduce to two characters?
A play with a couple in the title could work. Maybe Taming.
But for Halloween?
Ahhhhhh… now we’re on to something. And Minds Full of Scorpions was born.
A two-faced distillation of the Scottish play, with just Lord and Lady Macbeth’s faces in view… but with a metric sh!t-ton of voices swirling in their heads. I cut the script down to the scenes between the two of them… then added crucial scenes with voices… the concept evolved into one in which the couple are having their life flash before their eyes in the instant of death. And that gave me more of a structure as well.
I cast five actors (most of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of working with… but their work I admired, so I used this as an excuse to work with them). We rehearsed on Zoom, then had four in-person rehearsals at the theater, sitting in a large circle, microphone in the middle, iPad cameras pointing at the two leads. And we did it in one single, uninterrupted take, which I then synchronized and added effects, both visual and audio.
And it premieres tonight on the Elite’s YouTube channel at 7:30pm (Pacific). You can find it here.
In the coming days, I’ll post an embed from the version that will be going up on the FireMuse Shakespeare site… (oh, I should probably explain that, too… guess I have some catch-up posts coming soon)