When you’re walking by the Rock this weekend, don’t be alarmed if you overhear language usually confined to your Shakespeare class. Try to fight off that aversion to iambic pentameter you developed in high school English, or least don’t be a fool and disrupt the actors in your drunken Dillo Day-weekend state.
This year’s Lovers & Madmen “Shakespeare at the Rock” show is Pericles, directed by Andrew Jorczak. Jorczak, a Communications junior, had seen a production of Pericles at the Globe Theatre in London, which, he said, made choosing it for this year’s show easy. “I had seen more or less an outdoor production. That helped me know how to put it outside,” Jorczak said.
He describes Pericles as “the story of one man’s growth and how he cannot but obey the powers above him.” This is entertainment, though, not English class, and Jorczak promises the show won’t be too preachy.
The extensive cast requires many of the 12 actors to play two or three parts. “After knowing briefly who they were, I had a sense of where else I could put them,” Jorczak said. “A lot of it was what their original role was and it also had to be viable to the audience that they could play one character and then another.” To indicate these character switches, the actors add different costume pieces to a base of white or khaki clothes.
Jorczak was initially frustrated when Lovers & Madmen gave him the slot to direct the Rock show. After performing in a show in Crowe Plaza, he knew the disadvantages to outdoor theatre. “I knew how frustrating it can be to do a show outside,” Jorczak said. “People walk right through your rehearsal space and are oblivious.” Like most outdoor shows, Pericles will have no set or sound system, so the actors will have to talk louder than they would on a stage. And enunciation is especially important when you’re performing Shakespearian text.
“It’s really difficult,” cast member and Communications sophomore Fred Geyer said. “I can’t really ever judge if I’m being loud enough or if the audience will be able to understand what I’m saying. And when I’m ‘offstage,’ I’m so far away from the actors that it’s hard to know when to come back on.”
Pericles will be performed for free at the Rock this Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.