FRONT ROW CENTER
By Michael Warren
An interesting and innovative event took place in June at the Lakeside Little Theatre. As the culmination of a course for aspiring directors, nine classical scenes were presented to the public in a two-hour show. Each participant in the course directed one of the scenes, and a group of talented actors were asked, cajoled or otherwise persuaded to rehearse and learn their lines in only three weeks. As for the scenes – described as an eclectic mixture of delights and dramas – those of us who have been requesting more serious plays at LLT certainly had our wish fulfilled.
This was a bold experiment, with scenes selected by Dave McIntosh (who led the course) from plays of different genres and from different centuries and theatrical traditions. The playwrights included William Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, Jean Anouilh, Tennessee Williams, W.B.Yeats, Ariel Dorfman and Murray Schisgal. The actors and directors rose to the challenge and delivered a wonderful series of performances. At the end of the show, we were given a lollipop in the form of a scene from Virtue in Danger or The Relapse by Sir John Vanbrugh, a hilarious Restoration comedy with Dave McIntosh as the idiotic snob Lord Foppington.
These Summer Scenes prove that we have some terrific talent in this town, capable of handling serious and sometimes difficult material. Given the opportunity, they can stretch their wings and LLT can successfully put on plays – at least one serious play per season – from our wonderful English language heritage. Let the actors and directors show what they can do!