DRILLING COMPANY'S FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
RETURNED TO LIVE THEATER WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE BARD'S 457TH
APRIL 23 & 24, 2021 IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE,
107 SUFFOLK STREET.
Two Nights of Scenes, Songs, Sonnets and Soliloquies.
April 23 and 24, 2021 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Parking Lot of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural &
Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street.
Presented by The Drilling Company
FREE but limited to 50 participants
Masks and temperature checks required; social distancing observed.
Shakespeare turned 457 on Friday, April 23, 2021. So on April
23 and 24, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, members of The Drilling
Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Company mounted "Happy
Birthday Shakespeare-457" in the parking lot of The Clemente
Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk
Street. An energetic, one-hour collection of outdoor performances
was offered, all free to the public, all live and limited to
50 audience members. It was the first free Shakespeare to be
offered in NYC in the year since the quarantine.
by Jane Bradley and Kathleen Simmonds, core players of the company
performed great speeches, scenes, sonnets and songs from the
Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, home of Shakespeare
in the Parking Lot, writes, “It’s essential to get
our theater professionals back to work and to bring live theater
safely back to the City. Who better to lead the way than William
and temperature checks were required and social distancing was
observed. Participation was free but only 50 patrons were allowed
per night. Admission was on a first-come-first-served basis
and registrations were strongly recommended.
SEE THE LINEUP OF PERFORMANCES (WHO PLAYED WHAT), DOWNLOAD
last production before Covid
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT TURNED 25,
PRESENTED "ROMEO AND JULIET" JULY 11 TO 27, 2019
Huff (as Romeo), Anwen Darcy (as Juliet).
Photo by Jonathan Slaff.
July 11 to 27, 2019
La Plaza @ The Clemente Parking Lot, 114 Norfolk Street
Subways: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street.
Presented by The Drilling Company
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM
Running time 100 minutes
in the Parking Lot presented "Romeo and Juliet," directed
by Lukas Raphael, July 11 to 27, 2019 at La Plaza @ The Clemente
Parking Lot, 114 Norfolk Street. This popular New York summer
institution was then in its 25th year. Its concept--presenting
Shakespeare plays with a "poor theater" aesthetic
in a working parking lot--is now widely imitated around the
US and around the world, with productions as far away as New
Zealand. The Drilling Company, Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy,
has produced the attraction since 2005.
play exquisitely demonstrates the futility of partisanship,
pleading for similar people to stop killing each other for reasons
they no longer remember. Director Lukas Raphael set the play
in New York in the early 1990's, with the Montagues and Capulets
imagined as families of a Lower East Side neighborhood. In this
concept, the Capulets (Juliet's people) are long standing stewards
of the neighborhood. Romeo's Montagues, on the other hand, are
upwardly mobile, eager to rise above it. Raphael once directed
"Romeo and Juliet" in North London as a Tango musical
set in Buenos Aires. This time, he saw his job as telling a
fast, gritty story clearly and succinctly, stressing its language
and incorporating sounds of the street and city to provide the
backdrop. Instead of duels with swords, he had knife fights
choreographed by Frank Alfano, who staged the fights in an Off-Broadway
adaptation of "A Clockwork Orange" in 2015.
cast included Adam Huff (as Romeo), Anwen Darcy (as Juliet),
Alessandro Colla (as Mercutio), Una Clancy (as Nurse), Jake
Lesh (as Tybalt, Paris), Kendra Lee Oberhauser (as Lady Capulet)
, Jack Sochet (as Capulet), Serena Miller (as The Friar), John
Caliendo (as Benvolio) and Samantha Sutliffe (as Gregory, Apothecary,
Peter). Set design is by Lukas Raphael. Costume design is by
Sofia Piccolo. Fight choreography was by Frank Alfano.
cast was an ensemble of Drilling Company artists who had been
honed through the years in many Parking Lot productions. Anwen
Darcy (Juliet) had appeared as Beatrice in "Much Ado About
Nothing" in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in 2016 and
stole the show as Mercutio in The Drilling Company's production
of "Romeo and Juliet" for Bryant Park Shakespeare
in 2015, earning praise from the The Village Voice's Miriam
Felton-Dansky for her "strong...punky" performance.
Adam Huff (Romeo) had appeared in Shakespeare in the Parking
Lot as Bertram in "All's Well That Ends Well" (2016)
and Bassanio in "The Merchant of Venice" (2015). Alessandro
Colla (Mercutio) had appeared in the Parking Lot in many major
roles including Richard the Third, Hamlet, Toby Belch and Duke
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL) is now in its 25th year.
It was begun in 1995 by Expanded Arts under the artistic direction
of Jennifer Spahr. When Ms. Spahr retired in 2000, an organization
known as Ludlow Ten was formed under the direction of Leonard
McKenzie. The Drilling Company began co-producing SITPL with
Ludlow Ten in 2001. After Mr. McKenzie's retirement in 2005,
The Drilling Company was asked to continue the great tradition
of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. A chronology of the year-by-year
offerings in the unique setting is available on the Shakespeare
in the Parking Lot website, www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com.
The concept of free Shakespeare in a parking lot, presented
with a "poor theater" aesthetic, is now widely imitated
around the US and around the world, with productions as far
away as New Zealand.
2014, having lost its Parking Lot when the Seward Park Urban
Renewal Area gave way to a giant mixed-used development, The
Drilling Company sought a new location in the Lower East Side
to continue the spunky Lower East Side tradition. After a nine-month
search, the new space adjacent to The Clemente, on Norfolk Street
between Delancey and Rivington Streets, was arranged. Like the
previous location, it is a working parking lot and has the urban,
gritty atmosphere that has made these productions memorable
through the years. It is just three blocks from the municipal
parking lot where the annual Free Shakespeare festival originated.
THE DRILLING COMPANY
Beside producing Shakespeare, The
Drilling Company, led by Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy,
is an incubator of new American plays. It produced new works
in an intimate theater space at 236 West 78th Street, formerly
78th Street Theater Lab, from 1999 to 2014 and is presently
seeking new digs for this aspect of its work. Last season, it
presented "Gabriel: A Polemic" at North of History,
a "popup" gallery and performance space located at
445 Columbus Ave. (between 81st and 82nd Street), near its 15-year
home. The company is also the exclusive producer of Shakespeare
plays for Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare.
"Romeo and Juliet" will be performed July 11 to 27,
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM. All admission is free.
Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with
audience members often arriving early to secure a place. Audience
members are welcome to bring their own chairs. Once seats are
gone, blankets are spread out. No one has ever been turned away
and there's never a wait for tickets.