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The Flying Muskrat Theatre Company The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

By • Aug 7th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
The Flying Muskrat Theatre Company: (Info) (Web)
James Lee Community Center Theater, Falls Church, VA
Through August 10th
2:15 with intermission
$9-$12
Reviewed August 3rd, 2013

Ask any non-theatre lover the name of a playwright, and they’ll probably respond with “William Shakespeare.” Ask them to name one of his plays, and they’ll probably say Romeo & Juliet. I’d also guess they would be surprised to find out that he wrote 37 plays. Then they’ll think, “I hope I never have to see them all!” Luckily for them, they don’t have to sit through several weeks worth of Shakespearian plays, because The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) tackles (literally at times) all 37 plays in about two hours.

The young Flying Muskrat Theatre Company has created an enjoyable evening of theatre, even if you aren’t a fan of Shakespeare. While it may be a bit more fun to catch all the references in the play, you don’t really need to know exactly what is being spoofed. A few plays (Romeo and Juliet, Titus Andronicus, Othello, and Hamlet) are given significant stage time, while the other plays are grouped together in extended scenes, such as the History plays becoming a sporting event.

The three actors (Ernie Ambrose, Brennan Jones and Zach Goubeaux) performed well for the most part. As the cast self-directed the show, with assistance from Dave Sher, the performances between scenes were a bit uneven in pacing and emphasis. Having a director who could watch the overall pace of the production would have helped greatly. Some of the transitions between scenes were slightly awkward, instead of flowing smoothly they appeared to come to a stop and then start up again.

The cast did make great use of the performing area, with a “real” set (a first for the Flying Muskrat, designed by Stephanie Miller), a basic yet effective lighting design (Bill Miller), and funny costumes (Ava Hockenberry).

The second act of Shakespeare (Abridged) focuses on Hamlet. Get ready for some audience participation, and some very funny bits. Hamlet is the most complex of the scenes, and the rehearsal effort shows, although a director would have helped tighten some of the bits that came across as unfocused.

Altogether though, The Flying Muskrat’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was quite fun, for lovers (and haters) of Shakespeare. It will be interesting to see what the Flying Muskrats have planned for 2014.

Photo Gallery

Photo 1 Photo 2
Photo 3 Photo 4
Photo 5 Photo 6

Photos by Rich Stanage

Cast

  • Ernie Ambrose
  • Brennan Jones
  • Zach Goubeaux

Crew

  • Assistant Director: Dave Sher
  • Stage Manager, Costumes Head, Sound Board Op: Ava Hockenberry
  • Set Designer, Props Head, Graphics: Stephanie Miller
  • Light Designer, Light Board Op: Bill Miller
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Jeremy Maline
  • Publicity Crew Head: Brennan Jones
  • Props Crew: Melanie Reuter
  • Publicity Crew: Zack Camp
  • Costume Crew, Publicity Crew: Caitlin S. Chenvert
  • Costume Crew: Sasha Duckworth
  • Costume Crew: Gulet Isse
  • Costume Crew: Madison Meinbriesse
  • Costume Crew: Evelyn Hernandez
  • Makeup: Catherine Kiesel
  • Paint Crew: Casey Marie Isaac
  • Graphics Designer: Max Johnson
  • Photo & Videographer: Rich Stanage
  • Producer, Program Head, Backstage Manager: Susan Kidd
  • Usher: Julian Hockenberry
  • Usher: Julia Kun

Disclaimer: The Flying Muskrat Theatre Company provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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has performed in local productions, but prefers to be behind the scenes. Mike earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the Online News Association.

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