Sunday, July 27, 2008

Goodnight R and J

The sun sets on R and J

Tonight we closed the chapter on one of the first productions of a continuing tradition, the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival. I have been so proud of all of those involved with Romeo and Juliet. It has been an incredible group of people to work with and to watch. I want to extend a special thank you to all those involved. It has also been special to work with my father in the mounting of this show.

Brian Chaitin looks on at "magic hour."

Romeo and Juliet meet

A thought struck me this evening about the power of theatre. Tonight we tried to capture the show on tape. A camera was set up, but sadly the power died on the camera mid way through the first act. Part of me was sad, but another part of me began to think about the act of theatre and its power "in the moment." I love theatre because when it happens it is immediate. There is no escaping it. That is what is so powerful about it. It only exists in the moment that an audience is watching it in the present. A video of this show would have been nice but it would never have caught how incredible it was to watch this show on a beautiful summer evening with a calm breeze, birds chirping, the sun setting, and Shakespeare's words spilling out over the gorgeous architecture of Benedict. Although fleeting, it only could have happened during those 9 days in July of 2008. No video could ever capture what the real experience was and what it was audiences felt in the moments this piece was performed. It is both heart breaking and beautiful.

The Friar and Romeo

That Tybalt...always so angry...

The beginning of Act 2

I think one of the things that most struck me about this show, apart from the incredibly talented cast, was the power of the natural elements and their enhancement of the telling of this classic tale. The show begins in full day light, the sun sets, the second act begins at dusk, and the show ends with the moon and the stars at their fullest. Watching this take place around the show was amazing and powerful. A journey took place that was a full and rich metaphor.

A father and daughter watch the end of the play

The final scene

This was a very special experience. I want to thank all those involved. An incredible amount of work and dedication went into mounting this show. Audiences had a wonderful time and I will always cherish this first outdoor experience for Endstation. Bravo to all those involved.

Cast members talk to audience members after the show

Geoffrey Kershner
Endstation Blogger and Artistic Director

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