A few weeks ago I convinced a few friends to come with me to check out a show that I randomly saw advertised on Instagram. I know very little about it but kinda sounded cool?? BS Theater advertised they were doing a one-night performance of Midsummer for free in the back of a comic book shop.
And, according to their website, they are based on Chicago's Back Room Shakespeare which has the tag:
Serious Actors, No Director, One Rehearsal. In A Bar.
Ok - let's see what this is.
Folding chairs, free muffins, beer and wine. Donation jar. Comic Book Hideout in Fullerton was still operating business (with a store dog greeting patrons).
There were simply the flouresnt lights above that didn't change. The actors milled around and some introducing themselves to audience. The back office of the shop served as the green room and there was an employee using a price gun next to me during the first half of the show.
We were encouraged to take pictures and have cell phones out to upload, tag, tweet and comment during the production which was a delight. And it's smart marketing.
The spirit of the whole event was infectious. I loved that it was alternative, handmade, spontaounous and enforced the impression that you were about to be a part of something unique and original.
Here's where I think they could have improved a bit... they performed the WHOLE uncut script. Which is already pretty long. It feels even longer when there were some rough patches of line learning (there was a individual on book for the show and feed lines when the performers got stuck. Tho, they never actually called "line" which means we awkwardly watched someone struggle with the next lines before they were fed to them).
This sorta killed the energy that this group created but at the end of the night, it might not have mattered. I appreciated what BS Theater was doing and I was super glad we came out to experience it. And if BS Theater sees this, re-consider your stance on directors and contact me!