Central to Shakespeare’s Midsummer are references to the fairies having come from India. The stylistic connection between Midsummer and Bollywood is a natural; it’s surprising we don’t see it more often in productions of the play.
Austin, TX (PRWEB) July 14, 2014
Austin Scottish Rite Community and Children’s Theater will open its 2014-15 season with two August productions, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Robin Hood. Consistent with its philosophy, history and direction, both productions team up with a variety of community groups. The complete new season offers new works, classics and an expanding community.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: the Farthest Steep of India, directed by Susan Gayle Todd, mixes traditional Shakespeare with Bollywood as the play moves from the ancient Athenian court to a natural world ruled by fairy deities “come from the farthest steep of India.” The show features Indian dance by Preya Patel, Prakash Mohandas, and Rujuta Narwker and live Bollywood music by the Sacred Cowgirls. Evening performances run August 8-23.
Susan Gayle Todd, Scottish Rite’s new Artistic Director, has long specialized in classical adaptations and collaborative productions. Her February production for young audiences, Little Red Chunari, a Bollywood version of Riding Hood, inspired her to continue working with local South Asian artists in a show that will broaden the scope and age-appeal for audiences. Todd explains, “Central to Shakespeare’s Midsummer are references to the fairies having come from India. The stylistic connection between Midsummer and Bollywood is a natural; it’s surprising we don’t see it more often in productions of the play.”
The 140-year-old Scottish Rite Theater is the perfect environment for Shakespeare’s Midsummer because the theater houses century-old hand-painted backdrops that feature stunning scenes of forests and palaces. Director Susan Gayle Todd will make full use of these in Austin’s oldest theater.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: the Farthest Steep of India runs August 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 at 7:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $15-$30, available at http://www.ScottishRiteTheater.org. For information call 512-472-5436.
The authentic Robin Hood cast from Sherwood Forest Faire will perform The Legends of Robin Hood in an original adaptation written and directed by Sherwood’s director, Zane Baker. Weekend matinees feature Robin Hood and his band of outlaws outwitting the Sheriff of Nottingham in the original adventure story of Merry Olde England, with live music by Alan A Dale. Weekend matinees for all ages will run August 16-24 with one final evening show.
The Legends of Robin Hood runs under one hour and is well suited for all ages—even the very young. Children can feel close to the action seated on the floor, in parents’ laps, or in regular theater seating. Live music and audience interaction, both trademarks of Scottish Rite programming for youth, will be featured in this Sherwood Forest Faire show.
The Legends of Robin Hood tickets are available at http://www.ScottishRiteTheater.org. For more information, call 512-472-5436.
Austin Scottish Rite Community and Children’s Theater
The theater itself first opened as a German social club and exhibition hall that performed opera, theater and feats of strength and gymnastics. The Scottish Rite fraternity acquired the theater in 1914 and in 2004 donated it to the 501(c)3 children’s theater. For the past decade we have been dedicated to entertaining children and the community with both the ancient and the contemporary stories of our world.
This year is the tenth anniversary season of the nonprofit.
Susan Gayle Todd, Artistic Director, Scottish Rite Theater, susan(at)scottishritetheater(dot)org
Rich Vazquez, Executive Director, Scottish Rite Theater, rich(at)scottishritetheater(dot)org
Sherwood Forest Faire
Founded in 2010, Sherwood Forest Faire is a permanent village of over 150 structures designed to satisfy your entire family’s appetite for food, drink, shopping, games and entertainment. Visit during February and March for an eight-weekend medieval-themed event, Sherwood Forest Faire, or during one weekend in September for the Sherwood Forest Celtic Festival & Highland Games. Beginning in summer of 2012, kids and adults alike can sign up for courses in traditional skills and crafts such as blacksmithing, glassblowing, pottery, horseback riding, archery – the list goes on.
Zane Baker, Entertainment Director, entertainment(at)sherwoodforestfaire(dot)com
“Austin’s Sacred Cowgirls has been an all-girl Bollywood cover band, playing since 2004. We like to render old and not-so-old Bollywood tunes into something that feels like Americana. Our interpretations are sleek as we generally perform as a trio but we think we reach both Indian audiences as well as those not at all familiar with Indian music with these songs.”
Austin Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
The Austin Scottish Rite is a masonic fraternal organization celebrating 100 years in Austin. Since that time it has contributed to the Texas and Austin community in many ways. These include helping start the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (1921), the Scottish Rite Dormitory for young women (1922), the Scottish Rite Dyslexia Center of Austin (1989) and the Austin Scottish Rite Community & Children’s Theater (2004).
Contact: Victor Armstrong: gs(at)austinscottishrite(dot)org