“Will in the Woods: A Shakespeare Collage” is the latest production from Idyllwild’s Stratford Players. Sunday’s rain didn’t dampen the event since the players moved the St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church outdoor performance to the Christian Science Church across from Town Hall.
But for those who missed Saturday’s outdoor event, the Stratford Players will be performing “Will in the Woods” at 3 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14. Before the performance at 2:35 p.m., Doug Austin and Rob Crisell share their insights into Shakespeare and the history of the time he was writing.
“It is a collage of Shakespeare — scenes and soliloquies,” said Christopher Morse, a Stratford founding member and a cast member, about the 3 p.m. performance. “We’re taking William Shakespeare’s best moments.”
Director Marsha Kennedy, another Stratford founder, said the idea occurred to her as she became aware that a number of people do not love Shakespeare or have not been exposed to his works.
“This is a good experience for play-goers to develop a sense of Shakespeare’s ability,” she said. “It surprises some people who previously can’t take Shakespeare that there’s a great deal of intensity in his plays.”
And director Kennedy assures that the lines and scenes are delivered in a very conversational style. “This gives them a better chance to understand what was said and meant,” she stated.
According to Kennedy and Morse, there is no formula for the selections. Each was chosen for a different reason. For example, Morse chose Cassius’s monologue from “Julius Caesar” where he tried to persuade Brutus to join the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar.
This production is the third year Stratford has performed “Will in the Woods.” Kennedy stressed that all the scenes and soliloquies are different from prior performances.
Tickets are $15. On their website, the Stratford Players say, “Our performances are like those in Shakespeare’s time — outdoors in the afternoon.”