Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Double, Double?? Macbeth and A MidSummer night?s Dream headline Lakeside Shakespeare

Erin Crowell - July 25th, 2011
‘Double, Double…’
Macbeth and A MidSummer night’s Dream headline Lakeside Shakespeare
By Erin Crowell
Like night and day, Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and “A Midsummer Night’s
Dream” vary greatly in tone, from the dark and spooky to the light and
dreamy; however, the wooded venue of Forest Hill in Frankfort provides an
ideal setting for both—even a second character—as Lakeside Shakespeare
presents its eighth season of classic Shakespearean theatre July 28, 30
and Aug. 2 & 4 (for “Macbeth”) and July 29, 31 and Aug. 3 & 5 (for “A
Midsummer Night’s Dream”).
While there are many “Shakespeare in the Park” performances offered
throughout the region, Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre is a Midwest affair,
using professional actors, directors and designers from Chicago to bring
the poetic and, quite frankly, ambiguous world of Shakespeare to Northern
“Most people’s experiences with Shakespeare is something along the lines
of sophomore English class where you had to read a book and try to
translate the language,” said Elizabeth Laidlaw, LST founder and artistic
director. “When people see our shows they’ll say, ‘I had no idea! I always
thought Shakespeare was so boring’ and they love it because these plays
are meant to be played. It’s our job for you to come in completely cold
and have no idea about the meaning; but just enjoy the story.”
It will be the company’s second performance of “A Midsummer Night’s
Dream,” the story about fairies, Athenian craftsmen and dozing lovers in
an enchanted forest.
“We get something completely different this time around, which is a lot of
fun,” Laidlaw noted about the vision of director Scott Cummins for this
year’s production. “So for those who saw the first ‘Midsummer Night’s
Dream,’ it’ll bear no resemblance.”

Another drastic change is the scenery, thanks to a location change last
year from Elberta Waterfront Park to the new space at Forest Hill—also
known as the Old Ice Rink.
“It offers a cool opportunity for both plays which have a magical element
coming out of the forest,” said Laidlaw. “In Macbeth, the witches are in
the woods that surround the old Scottish castle. You can’t provide a
better scenery than what nature has already provided.”
The trees also provide a cooler venue for audiences, guarding against the
direct light of the setting sun.
“Thankfully, we’ve never had any rain issues—knock on wood—but people know
they’ll be outside, so bring an umbrella, bug spray and remember to cover
your wine glass to keep the fruit flies out.”
Although both plays are free, Lakeside Shakespeare relies primarily on
donations – suggesting a $12 gift upon entry, although no one will be
turned away because they can’t afford it.
“We want everybody and anybody to come,” said Laidlaw, noting theatre
tickets in Chicago average around $45 – a real steal for professional
“The actors are paid during the two weeks they’re up here, but they’re
also not making money,” added Laidlaw. “Most of them have second jobs; and
most survival jobs, like waiting tables, have flexibility for (the actors)
to leave for two weeks at a time but they don’t receive vacation pay.
Because of expenses, the amount of time Lakeside Shakespeare spends in
Northern Michigan is limited to just two weeks – that includes time on the
performance stage.
“We start rehearsing in a room in Chicago on June 13, so that’s six weeks
of rehearsal for two full-length productions with live music, sword
fighting and 13 actors playing 13 roles.”
During rehearsals, the actors have to just imagine the space in Frankfort
until “we get into that magical space that we don’t have a name for,” said
Laidlaw, acknowledging the moment the actors are there, it’s like
“releasing a lion.”

Lakeside Shakespeare returns to Forest Hill, in Frankfort, with “Macbeth”
on July 28, 30 and Aug. 2 & 4; and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” July 29,
31 and Aug. 3 & 5. All performances start at 7 p.m. There will also be a
Children’s Workshop for ages 5-12, August 2-4, from 10am-12pm at the
performance space. Admission is a suggested $12 donation per person.
Info: lakesideshakespeare.org.

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