Last Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, the Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakes) held a workshop on Shakespeare’s “Winter’s Tale” in the Old Chapel auditorium.
The ADK Shakes is an independent, non-profit theater company that has been touring and performing in New York since 2008.
Artistic Director, Tara Bradway and Executive Director, Patrick Siler, described the company’s mission as, “to remain faithful to all of Shakespeare’s work, favoring a very minimalistic approach as opposed to other more extravagant productions.”
The company tours mainly during spring and autumn and does not utilize constructed sets, but instead force its audience to rely on their imagination.
Bradway stressed the company’s “Shakespeare in the Raw” philosophy, where the actors wear simple costumes and use little to no props during performances.
Bradway elaborated that the company casts roles freely and allows female actresses to play male characters.
The ADK Shakes believes that gender-blind casting stretches the audience’s imagination.
The company enjoys incorporating audience members into its performances and uses theatrical devices, such as descriptive language, to substitute for more fantastical scenes.
When it comes to, for instance, a shipwreck, sometimes the imagination can paint a more magnificent picture than a wooden set.
At the event, the ADK Shakes broke participants into several small groups and then had them perform scenes from “Winter’s Tale.”
The actors assisted the participants by providing clarification for their scenes, and then helping to analyze and interpret them.
The ADK Shakes performed the full production of Shakespeare’s “Winter’s Tale” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015.