Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, February 1, 2018
‘Play in a Day’ brings Shakespeare’s The Tempest to the stage
by Faith DeAmbrose
Can you really learn a play in five and a half hours? The answer, surprisingly, is “yes,” although “it is the absolute minimum amount of time needed,” said Meg Taintor of Opera House Arts.
And while that limit was tested, the end result was something Taintor said the participants could be proud of.
With a potluck meet and greet on January 22, doubling as a first read-through of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, participants got a crash course in theater as they came back on January 27 to adapt the play for a performance later that evening.
Twelve actors—ranging in age from 5 to their 80s—participated, breaking into three groups, mirroring an equal divide in the play’s construction. As a joint production between OHA and Reach Performing Arts, Taintor, Reach Director John Lincoln and OHA intern Zillah Glory served as producers for the three groups, working separately and then bringing everyone back together for the actual performance.
“We wanted to make it fun,” said Taintor. And to that end, the group enlisted the help of local business owner Kelley Tardif of Physique who helped to teach the group a dance for a wedding scene.
Between rehearsals and other work, to be a performer in a staged play is generally a two-week commitment, said Taintor, but giving up a day to learn and perform a play was something that appealed to a different group of actors. Taintor said there were students and people that had never met one another and the openness of the process allowed people to participate who might not be able to otherwise given the usual commitment. “We made room for everyone that wanted to participate,” she said.
A full length version of The Tempest will be shown outdoors at Ames Farm this summer as part of OHA’s lineup.