Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lacuna Group to Perform Coriolanus

Coriolanus, by William Shakespeare, will be performed by Lacuna Group on Saturday, October 25, and Sunday, October 26, in the Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan. Both performances start at 3:00 p.m. There is no admission charge, and the group will host a pre-show talk at 2:30.

Lacuna Group, a local theatre collaborative, will perform Shakespeare’s complex political thriller with an all-male cast of ten, doubling and tripling roles as the play progresses.

“We played around in the park last weekend to see how we would need to adapt our performance to the space,” said Dale Lyles, member of the group. “We realized we needed to make a lot of changes, but we also came up with a list of recommendations for our audience, since this is a new experience for all of us.”

Those audience suggestions include bringing seating (chairs or blankets), sunglasses, and “a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes,” said Lyles. Sunscreen would probably be a good idea as well. There are no restrooms in the park. There will be one intermission.

Since it is outdoors, the play also presents a listening challenge to the audience.

“We were surprised at how good the acoustics are,” Lyles said, “but the fact is that we’re always competing with outside noises, traffic, birds, passersby. The audience will have no problem hearing us, but I think listening is different from hearing, and Shakespeare always demands a different kind of listening than other performances. Our audience is going to find itself paying attention just like the groundlings did 400 years ago.”

The Tragedy of Coriolanus tells the story of Caius Martius, a Roman general who is always successful on the battlefield. However, when his overbearing mother pushes him to stand for consul, the highest magistracy in Rome, he cannot hide his disdain for the common people. The tribunes lure him into betraying himself with his own anger, and the people banish him. He then seeks out his great opponent, Aufidius, and offers his services as a general to Rome’s enemies.

“This is one of those Shakespeare plays that many people have never heard of, and fewer have read,” said Lyles. “However, that doesn’t make it a ‘hard’ play to understand. In fact, I think people will be shocked at how contemporary the play feels, especially with an election of our own coming up. I’m betting that people are going to accuse us of translating or inserting passages, but every word is four centuries old. People are just people, and politics are politics, for good or bad, and William Shakespeare was the master at portraying them.”

Cast members include Jeff Allen, John Bilon, Jeff Bishop, Dan Coleman, Marc Honea, Greg Lee, Dale Lyles, Kevin McInturff, Andrew Stroud, and Scott Stroud.
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