SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Adirondack Shakespeare Company will be performing two of the Bard’s comedies at the National Museum of Dance as part of their summer festival season. “The Merry Wives of Windsor” will be performed on Sunday, July 26 and “As You Like It” will be performed on Sunday, August 2. Both shows will start at 3 p.m.
The mission of the Adirondack Shakespeare Company is to produce exceptional plays without the added distractions of gaudy costumes and over-the-top sets. The focus is on the words of the play itself and how the actors decide to convey the story to the audience.
“My favorite part about doing these plays is the genuine connection you build with the audience,” said Tara Bradway, artistic director at the company. “The simple props and costumes allow the audience’s imagination to take hold. Nothing gets in the way so they can enjoy the beauty of the language. We make our plays accessible and easily understood.”
Though you may see a wooden dowel instead of a sword, the Adirondack Shakespeare Company shows what really matters: the heart of the story.
The actors also get a lot of creative freedom with their characters and how they present them. Katie Fanning, who is playing Rosalind in “As You Like It” is excited about the possibilities for these plays.
“The best thing is that in the whole range of characters, you can explore who you are and who you want to be on stage,” said Fanning. “It’s a dream as an actor, to be free to make your own choices. It's like a playground and every performance is different.”
Without strict directions, the independence of the actors allows them to play with the script. What is impressive is that the actors have two months to prepare on their own after casting but only 15 hours of rehearsal together before the show goes on.
“We have a professional cast that is so talented at what they do,” said Bradway. “They deliver these plays exquisitely.”
Tickets to these shows are $20 for adults, $17 for students, seniors and veterans, and free for children 12 and under. Those who arrive early to the plays will get to see a 15 minute long live musical performance from the actors. Actors choose the songs based on their characters and the play itself. There will also be musical performances during intermission. The National Museum of Dance is located at 99 S. Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
For more information please visit adkshakes.org.