Frost on the ground, gray and windy days, the clocks about to fall back, yes, the off-season is definitely upon us. And if those harbingers aren’t enough, here comes Shakespeare for the Masses’ first outing.
For those still lingering somewhere way offstage, the folks at Shakespeare for the Masses do a little slicing and dicing to the master’s work (yes, Shakespeare wrote his plays, don’t believe the twaddle being peddled in the movie theatres) and come up with rather original takes on his classic tales. They are also much shorter, usually speeding by in just under an hour.
It’s the perfect venue to see Shakespeare anew or for the first time. Plus it’s free. Yes, free. Let’s hear it for Shakespeare for the Masses commitment to creating art for art’s sake. Not that they are averse to donations. This weekend’s fare takes us to a deserted island, not your usual castle skullduggery, but rather appropriate for Martha’s Vineyard in the off-season. It’s The Tempest and dear Prospero has been marooned with his daughter and Caliban, the slave and only native of the island, for fifteen years. Wouldn’t you know, though, the very folks responsible for Prospero’s predicament become marooned themselves on the island. Let’s face it, Mr. Shakespeare understood that coincidences, like new lovers, are best embraced fully with nary a second thought to practicality. And speaking of new lovers, wouldn’t you know it, Prospero’s daughter falls in love with the son of one of the bad guys.
Ah, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
The show begins on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. at the Vineyard Playhouse.
And again, admission is free.