Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Much Ado about?

Click through. It's nicer bigger

Austin Shakespeare Festival

THAT is magic.

That is a crowd of people sitting in a park waiting to hear some Shakespeare. 400-450 I reckon, though that is a gross estimate.

They chose to be in the park.


  1. Shakespeare.
  2. Park
  3. Price (Free)
  4. Weather (Very nice)
  5. Show Selection (Comedy)

Its own little world.
You can't even take this show inside and sell it the same way.

It also has a really likeable and charismatic Artistic Director who gave the curtain speech pitch for cash on Sunday (closing night).

I hate the pitch for cash. The pitch for cash is the same to me as any other pan handling, it feels icky.

But Ann Ciccollela made a very warm and self-deprecating go of it. She included the total cost of the show, what they needed to make per show, and highlighted the fact that they paid every actor. (though not of course how MUCH they paid each actor) They then sent the cast around the grounds with a bucket during intermission. (It's very different having Benedick ask for a donation than a crotchety ol' usher).

I can't say how much they gathered. But I can tell you that their approach changed how I personally felt about them asking and collecting.

There was no ick at all.

[The show was good, it's still just Much Ado - B and B were great, I disagreed with their Dogberry choice, but it was functional. A "B" mostly because I'm tired of the show. The production was quite good]

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