Never has determination been more evident than in the Talon Theatre fall production, "All the World’s a Stage." As a community of artists, the students and production staff had to constantly pivot to find new ways to express their creativity. Faced not only with developing innovative ways to practice their craft, rehearsing virtually on screen, distanced, together and apart amid a pandemic, Talon Theatre students, families and staff faced evacuations due to the fires forcing them again to postpone the performance.
Though weary, their spirits never wavered. Ever resilient, enthusiastically embracing their new reality, the cast and crew of "All the World’s a Stage" collaborated to bring a delightfully entertaining one act of Shakespearean scenes and monologues to the B Courtyard reimagining the Old Globe Theatre.
In his time, Shakespeare himself faced multiple theatre closures during his career due to the plague. Yet his words have lived on in this time as a testament to the truth that the theatre has and will survive! The cast and crew took this to heart. The show must and did go on safely and responsibly.
The cast, crew and design team for "All the World’s a Stage" collaborated on the set, graphic design, costumes, and musical score. They researched the plays from which their scenes were derived under the guidance of a student-led dramaturgy team. They tackled the heightened language and married modern sensibilities with Elizabethan tradition. The result was a fun, fast-moving and inventive performance that was presented live to a limited audience and streamed on November 8 to home audiences. While the weather was windy, cold and drizzly, Talon Theatre hearts were warm.
Design team students included Mary Katherine Riley ‘21 and Tori Benser ‘21 costumes, Molly Roberts ‘21 set and show logo, Sawyer Thiessen ‘21 social media graphics, Olivia Orellana ‘22 and Delaney Jankanish ‘22 the sound and musical score. Stage Manager Annie Mulvihill ‘22 also called the live stream camera shots from inside a B Building classroom while watching the show through a monitor and window.
The rehearsal process and performances observed strict COVID protocols and recommendations by the Educational Theatre Association for safely producing theatre during the pandemic. Separate dressing areas were established 6 feet apart, props were sanitized regularly and handled only by individual actors. All performers wore color-coordinated masks and face shields. The show was performed outside to limit the exposure for the small live audience.
The Shakespearean material in "All the World’s a Stage" was arranged by Mary Schaller and performed with permission from Dramatic Publishing Company. JPSystems streamed the show through BookTix. The production staff included Amy Luskey-Barth, Director; Justin Gagnon, Technical Director; Mike Ritchey Sound and Camera Engineer; Casey Garritano, Choreographer; Chris Winn, Musical Director; David Tehero, Master Carpenter and Annette Melosini, Box Office and Production Manager.