A collaborative adaptation of As You Like It by William Shakespeare; this is the marketing tag for The Rude Mechanical’s latest production— Arden Now— which debuted earlier this summer at the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival. Now playing at the Greenbelt Arts Center for a two-weekend engagement, the doors have been opened to those unwilling or unable to attend the chaotic frenzy that is CapFringe, and the stage is a veritable carnival of concepts that don’t quite come together as Director Melissa Schick intends in her director’s note.
Discomfort guides this servant’s tongue, you see
When first to speak on the venue known as the DCAC
But fear not, playgoers, for I share with you
Good news of The Rude Mechanicals and their show of Richard II
Laboriously titled The Life and Death Of
They present to you from one floor above
A judiciously rendered version that moves quite free
Of this early and poetic tale of history
Directed by Michael F.
Suppose within the girdles of the Greenbelt Arts Center’s walls are now confined two mighty forces— The Rude Mechanicals: a community theatre troupe that delivers judiciously trimmed and readily accessible Shakespearean plays— and Henry V: Shakespeare’s middle Henry history play. Directed by Rebecca Speas, this muse of fire finds its place among the Bard’s canon in true Rude Mechanicals style and delivers swiftly the plot, the point,
Before Luke Skywalker becomes a man, he started out hanging out with an old man and a pack of ne’r do wells in a crap bar while his dad and more useful sibling were out there ruling the universe. George Lucas snagged a page from Shakespeare and made it his own into the form we know and love today. The Rude Mechanicals have taken this tumultuous two-part history of Henry IV about life,
Girl wants boy. Boy wants different girl. Girl tricks boy into wanting her. And they live happily ever after. Other stuff happens. There’s a fool involved somehow. And a king. And a fistula. That the girl magically cures the king of with her magical powers, or her herbs and whatnot. And then they live happily ever after. Also some love letters and a ring. Maybe some secretive identities, a ten-o’clock kidnapping, and a horse?
Ne’er so bethump’d with words has this critic found herself when staring down an amalgamation of a Shakespearean remount dipped in Pythonian humor and sprayed liberally with truncation across the Greenbelt Arts Center’s intimate black box stage, than she has in this very moment in attempting to report upon The Life and Death of King John as presented by The Rude Mechanicals. A history most boring upended ass over tea-kettle by Director Alan Duda,
Light and darkness make fools both of the eyes. But it is oft better to live in the bliss of darkness than in the harsh intelligence of the light for once a thing is known and learned it can never be unknown. The Rude Mechanicals illustrate this concept with exception as their bring their 2014 Capital Fringe Festival production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth: The Instruments of Darkness to the Greenbelt Arts Center for a limited five show engagement.