Written by Patrick Chavis
What would typically be backstage is in the front of the stage in this production. The costume rack is set upright in the center of the stage. Red curtains that would typically be in the front are in the back of the stage. Looking at the reversed set, you know this play will be told in a unique way. This show is a gag that goes on for about 90 minutes. The gag is the original performers can’t perform, so the audience is going to watch the stage crew perform the show. Hayley Jackson, the dramaturg, Ana Fujimoto, the lighting assistant, and Sammie Moore, the costume assistant, haphazardly go through condensed versions of Shakespearian classics with minimal regard for accuracy.
The actors do an excellent job of bringing the audience into the lunacy with audience interactions, and that’s quite fun. The introduction and ending of the play are fantastic, but the gag of this being a silly Shakespearean show tends to overstay its welcome. The show felt like a one-trick pony.
They spare no detail in sticking with the joke. Even the programs have the actors listed as background actors, and they have other names listed as the performers of the show. If you go, the program is a lovely keepsake.
Haley Jackson plays the part of the dramaturg like a pro. She has the nerdy voice, look, and attitude needed for this part. Her deep love of the bard also shows on stage.
The three performers give it their all during the entire performance. It makes the show mildly entertaining since the actual content isn’t that clever, and they’re using the weird framing device as a crutch instead of featuring funny material.