Shakago Debut – Much Ado & Tempest (2010)


Venue: Stage Left (Old Space)
Director: Jared McDaris
Photos: Claire Yearman

Our Chicago debut was fraught with many challenges, the eternal struggle for a venue being chief among them. However, it was also host to many triumphs.

Brian LeTraunik, heretofore known for bringing dull ramblers to life, danced between expert technique and relatable sincerity as Prospero.

D.C. Wright created a crowd-pleasing Friar in Much Ado with infectious energy and verve, and gave me a whole new perspective on the incredibly hilarious Stephano in The Tempest. The drunken butler was hands-down the comic champion of evening, a king among clowns.

Tiza Garland‘s bottomless well of energy and physical commitment simultaneously shamed and inspired her juniors (including me), leading us as a bouncy Beatrice and wrapping it up with a sinister Sebastian.

Zack Meyer, always an unparalleled actor, combined contemporary passion and classic discipline for the first time in an Unrehearsed show, in a performance that is still influencing the way we do Unrehearsed today.

And most importantly, it brought us to Chicago. It would be a whole year before we returned with Shrewthello in 2011, but Shakago (Much Ado & The Tempest) was the birth of a new era for Unrehearsed Shakespeare: artistically, professionally, and even scholastically.