Adrienne Marquand (left) Summer Blake (center) and Ashley Marquand (right) performing Titus Andronicus (Photo: Elizabeth Finnegan)
The Long Beach Shakespeare Company’s “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” is back and better than ever at the Richard Goad Theatre.
Originally known as “The Bard in the Yard,” the Long Beach Shakespeare Company was founded in 1990, with the mission of providing quality classical theatre to the Long Beach community. It began with performances in parks, and moved to its current home, the Richard Goad Theatre, in 2003.
The company performs classical works primarily by Shakespeare, but also boasts Sherlock Holmes stories and Greek tragedies, among others. It has also developed a popular staged radio play program called LBSC’s Audio Theatre on the Web, which features plays from the 1930’s and 40’s, and broadcasts on www.lbshakespeare.org.
“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” is a hilarious reinterpretation of his 37 full-length plays.
In an exclusive with Living Out Loud, Adrienne Marquand, one of the stars of the show, discusses her start in theatre and her role in this truly unique production.
Living Out Loud: First off, tell us a bit about yourself.
Adrienne Marquand: I have been acting since I was five years old. My first play was Jack in the Beanstalk with the Missoula Children’s Theatre in Missoula, Montana, and I’ve been hooked on acting ever since. By the time I finished high school, I had performed in over 30 productions. I am originally from Montana, and attended the University of Southern California, where I earned a B.A. in Theatre. I started performing with the Long Beach Shakespeare Company in 2011 and have been an active member ever since. I’ve done eight main-stage shows there, including Complete Works three years in a row. I’ve also participated in many of their staged readings and radio plays. LBSC allowed me to find my theatrical self after a four year hiatus; it has brought me some of my best friendships and even the love of my life. I currently audition for film and television roles in Los Angeles and even dabble in writing.
LOL: What will the show consist of?
AM: The show in which I’m currently performing is “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised].” It was originally performed by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. It’s a loving, farcical tribute to all of Shakespeare’s 37 full-length plays. We attempt to perform all of them, in one way or another, in an hour and a half. It includes Othello as a rap, the histories as a football game, and Hamlet done in normal speed, fast speed, and backwards. Whether you love or hate Shakespeare, you’re sure to laugh a LOT when you watch this show. It’s full of slapstick and silliness and makes Shakespeare easier to relate to and more understandable. Our space is a small, black box theatre, which creates a special intimacy that this show usually doesn’t offer. We interact with the audience a lot, which also provides a unique experience.
LOL: What is your role with the production and what can you tell us about your cast mates and overall preparation?
AM: The show is only performed by three people, usually men. Our show is unique in that it is done by three women, which to my knowledge has never (or at least very rarely) been done. We all have an equal share of parts and lines, which means we are all on stage A LOT. The other two actors are Ashley Marquand, my younger sister, and Summer Blake, one of my best friends whom I met at LBSC. Our chemistry on stage reflects our chemistry as good friends, which has made the rehearsal process (and co-directing) much easier. It also means that we have full trust in each other while performing, which is vital to a show that requires so much improvisation and quick-thinking. Because this is our third year in a row performing the show, we had the lines memorized so we were able to rehearse for only a few weeks before opening. Knowing the show as well as we do, we are able to really play with the scenes and add new jokes, gags, etc.
The show has been an enormous success since its inception, and this year will not be an exception. This is an opportunity for theatre lovers to enjoy a truly brilliant and off-the-wall production about the work of the immortal William Shakespeare.
Remaining performances will take place on Saturday, April 5 at 8pm, and Sunday, April 6 at 2pm.
For tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/564699.
For more information, visit www.LBShakespeare.org.