Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre starts its 2021 season with modern comedy

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:52 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Starting Friday, July 16, Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre (FST) is performing the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged”, a modern comedy that lampoons the Bard’s classic works.

This is the company’s first in-person production since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They race through all 37 plays, if not performing them, at least mentioning them,” Director Paul Adasiak said.

The play has a cast of only three. Actor Luke Williams said, “It’s going to appeal to everyone who has had to sit down, read or listen to, or watch a piece by Shakespeare, whether or not you technically, particularly like it or not.”

Rehearsals began at the beginning of June. According to Adasiak, “It was a fast-paced process with moments of uncertainty, but I’m loving it.”

Williams agreed, saying, “It has definitely been one of the fastest-paced show rehearsals I’ve ever had.”

The show involves a heavy element of audience participation. “There’s a lot of breaking of the fourth wall, people leaving the stage, interacting with the people in the house,” Adasiak explained.

But in the name of safety, physical interaction with the cast is not required. “We have a section of the audience which is mask-only, so the seats are social-distanced. You sit down there, and we as actors will not go directly to you to pull you in. We’ll still talk to you and incorporate you in the show, but we won’t actually pull you in to do gags with us.”

The play is being performed on the stage at Townshend Point on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. Adasiak said, “It’s outdoors, so you may want to wear your own mosquito repellant. You may want to prepare for rain, even though the forecast, I think, looks good for this weekend.”

The play runs about an hour and a half, and has an intermission.

“Complete Works” will run every weekend until August 1st, alternating matinee and evening shows with FST’s other production, Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

A link to the full list of showtimes can be found on FST’s website.

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