Name: Debi Niebuhr
I have now been to all three of the plays being offered at the Great River Shakespeare festival. “Hamlet” and “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern” are sometimes considered “mirror images” of each other and it was a brilliant idea to offer them both this season. Andrew Carlson’s portrayal of Hamlet as a confused, sardonic young man is exceptional. I was on the edge of my seat trying to absorb all of the great wisdom that comes with sorting through the angst in our lives.
Last night I laughed and laughed at the humor, and also great wisdom, in “Rosencrantz and Guidlenstern.” Doug Scholz-Carlson and Chris Gerson are an amazing duo and they play off of each other so very well. Behind the laughs, there are the questions about life and death and the meaning of it all in between.
This morning I attended the company conversation with the actors. I find this one-hour free conversation on Sunday mornings so enriching; it brings out many nuances of why the actors and directors chose to play certain scenes or characters the way they did. Actors talk about their understanding of their character or the play; always very rich.
This aftenooon I attended “The Merry Wives of Windsor” for more fun and great laughter. As always, John Daly’s portrayal of Falstaff is totally hilarious and the two merry wives, Tara Flanagan and Sigrid Sutter, seemed to be having the time of their lives. And, we are once again gifted with the musical talents of Jack Forbes Wilson, which adds another delightful addition to the play.
We are so blessed to have this Shakespeare Festival in our little town year after year. Each actor, director, intern, apprentice, designer, and on and on contributes so much to the festival. My summer, my life in Winona, is richer because of it. The concerts on the green, the Levee concerts, the front porch conversations all add to such a great experience.
Last night Lee Gunderscheimer, managing director, mentioned that each seat in the house costs $80 in reality. (The festival costs $914,000 each season.) So, buying our tickets, filling the house, donating what we can when we can all helps to keep this great theatre company coming back to Winona to enrich our lives in so many ways.
Hope to see you at the theatre!! I will be attending the shows more than once!