Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Return to the Second Shepherd's Play

About a year ago, Tony, the heart and mind of Bad Quarto Productions, IM'ed me on facebook and asked me whether I was interested in acting in his upcoming production of the Second Shepherd's Play.

Me: What's it about?

Tony: Complaining about work, complaining about wives, complaining about husbands...

Me: That sounds like real life.

Tony: ...Stealing a sheep, disguising the sheep as a baby, birth of Christ, angelic harmony.

Me: You had me at angelic harmony.

Tony: Oh, and we'll dress you up as a Christmas tree.

Me: Even better.

This year I get to reprise my role as Mak the Sheep-Thief-Turned-Christmas-Tree, and also I will music direct (which I suppose means I'm responsible for making the "angelic harmony" part of the show actually happen). I hope this year to be a little more organized, focused, and simple in our approach to the music. Last year for the pre-show music we tried to do some things that were a little ambitious for the time we had to rehearse and the amount of energy everyone involved in the show usually has at this point in the semester. I have yet to meet with this year's director to discuss her ideas regarding music, but I'm thinking it will be pretty simple and fun...mostly, of course, Christmas carols. Who doesn't love Christmas carols?

"O Tannenbaum, o tannenbaum, how lovely are your branches...."

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Second Shepherds' Play - Cast/Crew/Poster

Hi gang! Now that we've all had way too much turkey, I wanted to share that The Second Shepherds' Play has a new cast, crew, and poster for 2011: 

Rachel Quagliariello as Mak/Angel
Celi Oliveto as Gil/Mary
Ben Ratkowski as Col, the First Shepherd
Dane Leasure as Gib, the Second Shepherd
Jessica Schiermeister as Daw, the Third Shepherd

Directed by Kelly Elliot, with Musical Direction by Rachel Quagliariello

 That's right, sports fans, I won't be at the helm this time. Seeing as how I'm in my last year of graduate studies in Shakespeare and Performance, and that I would like this collaboration to continue as a tradition into the future, I've managed to convince Kelly Elliot to take up the mantle direct the show. I won't lie, it's a little bit weird letting go, but two years in a row is long enough for anyone to direct the same show, and I can't wait to see what Kelly and her cast do with this most excellent piece of medieval pageantry.

If you missed out on last year's fun, here are some pictures that should remind you just how awesome it is to try stealing a sheep, disguising it as your newborn son, sing Christmas songs while doing so, and totally get away with it. 

As much as we like to make fun of Mak and Gil and their mildly hair brained scheme, you have to give them credit, they totally manage to pull it off. The problem is that they pull it off too well, and actually make our three heros feel like massive tools for casting wicked aspersions on a couple that has been "blessed" with a newborn. That's one of the things I've always loved about this show; the good guys are too good to just walk away without trying to make the world a little bit better. 

Anyway, the album I promised: 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Second Shepherds' Play Returns!

I'm pleased to announce that Bad Quarto will once again perform The Second Shepherds' Play to benefit the Virginia Haiti Collaborative. We will perform at Stuart Hall School on December 10th at 2 PM, and at Emmanuel Episcopal Church as part of their 10:30 AM service on December 11th. Please check back soon for more details!