The Bard is Back in Wellfleet

The Cape Codder | April 28, 2006 | By Rebecca Alvin

Shakespearean Jukebox is no ordinary night of theatre.  The actors, who are married in real life, bring the works of Shakespeare to us via specific scenes in various plays.  The audience is seated around a few dining tables, offered coffee, tea, baklava, and other treats, and given a small menu from which they may select the plays they want to see performed.  This is truly interactive theater.

The menu offers selections divided into subcategories of Romances, Comedies, Tragedies and Histories – not unlike the offerings from your cable company in its “On Demand” section.

On the night I saw the performance, we were treated to a dozen scenes, all from different Shakespeare plays, all requested by audience members.

Putting the novelty of the situation aside, the performances of this duo are excellent interpretations of the bard’s work.  Ty moves easily from Romeo to Aaron the Moor, in each instance bringing his character to life adeptly and uniquely.  Amy is excellent in her range from the teenaged Juliet to Kate (“the shrew”) and the dark and intense Lady Macbeth.

As if great performances, theater on demand and coffee and cake were not enough, the duo adds an educational component to the evening, explaining the context for each scene as they perform it, and offering insights into the layers of meaning in each.  Together, they make up the Knighthorse Theatre Company, a non-profit organization that strives to bring theatre to schools, senior centers and other community spaces in the hopes of “making Shakespeare cool again.”  On this night, our audience ranged in age from high schoolers to octogenarians and all were clearly entertained, moved and intellectually stimulated by these dedicated actors.