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Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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
Michigan.
“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.”

ELEMENTAL WOOD
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
work.
“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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