Physicalize the characters. Allison has created a fun, physical romp within this pretty serious source material. The key to a production’s success is in the bold physical choices each actor makes with their character. Extend the limbs away from the body, create interesting stage pictures, give each character a defined pose, stance and walk. Make this play come to life in the visuals.
Want to learn more about approaching Shakespeare from the outside in? Listen to this great podcast with physical actor and director Todd Espeland.
Here are some other tips:
- Slow down on the Shakespeare lines and over-enunciate them a bit to make sure the audience gets the transition from modern language to the original text. Make sure your punchlines are clear, too! Get someone who doesn’t know the script to sit in on a late rehearsal and tell you what words they can’t make out.
- Use the same cheesy music to introduce each commercial.
- Watch some old commercials on YouTube to get the style - look up Sally Struthers' commercials for feeding hungry children, old Ronco commercials.
- Tie in to the play with your lobby snacks - donut sales, and "creepy" items - look at Halloween party food for ideas.
- The closing song can be sung to any tune you like (and your local copyright law allows) - I wrote it with The Beverly Hillbillies theme in mind, but it also works to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, so try a few tunes and see what you like!