Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tennessee Shakespeare Festival: A little peek

Ahhhh ... it takes a special kind of "Santa Barbara" fan to drive across the country just to see one of the show's stars in the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival. While we cannot show you photos of the actual play we saw since it was an Equity production, we can still offer a little glimpse of the whole experience ... four days in a car, 1,100 miles, from D.C. to Dalton, Georgia, to pick up a fellow "SB" fan, then up to Bell Buckle, Tennessee ...

What a sweet little town that the festival host, the Webb School, is located in, we saw as we arrived on Saturday afternoon ....

We couldn't resist taking a closer look at this bright caboose, retired and parked near the main street of town.

There it is ... the very event that brings us here ...

The stage is set for "Romeo & Juliet," inside a roomy and comfy tent on the grounds of the school.

The Webb School also produced "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as part of this summer's festival; those playdates were in June and earlier July. The Tennessee Shakespeare Festival is in its second year.

This version of "Romeo & Juliet" was set on the frontier of 18th-century America, complete with Redcoats and Indians. "After almost 40 years of acting, directing and producing Shakespeare," director Lane Davies said, "I look for ways to freshen the more familiar plays without compromising the story or the author's intent. I especially wanted a period that would preserve the romanticism of this season's 'Romeo & Juliet,' as well as exploit the opportunities for the more visceral and violent aspects of the play."

Some of the actors rehearse the fight scenes before the play.

There he is, the man of the hour, Mr. Lane Davies, our own Mason Capwell of "SB." After the show, he did some meet-and-greet and was incredibly warm and cordial.

Not only did he direct the play, but had a powerful role as Prince, the Redcoat who was tasked with some formidable crowd control amid the warring Montagues and Capulets. For this key role, which basically served as our "host" for the classic love story, Davies' voice thundered from the balcony as if he were Mason fighting once again with his dad C.C.! But after the show ... he was the most handsome and kind Southern gentleman, so at ease with chatting with folks!

Davies has another upcoming stage gig, by the way: Henry Higgins in "My Fair Lady" in September at Smyrna, Tennessee's Lamplighter's Theatre.

Davies suggested this photo with our traveling companion Tracy. "Now you can say you've been on stage with me," he softly joked as he led her over to the prop well. Thanks, Mr. Davies, for a fine, fine production of "Romeo & Juliet," and for the amazing work you do!

To see more photos from this crazy chick road trip, see BRB's author profile page in Facebook.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

No comments: