Notes from the Fringe

By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 27, 2012

We'll move on to Shakespeare, but not your traditionalist's Shakespeare: Acorn Productions' All's Well on the Waterfront takes All's Well That Ends Well (itself rather an odd dark comedy) and sets it in Victorian Portland, stages it in a Portland Company Complex building filled with a manufacturing installation and soundscape, and breaks up the play into short scenes and five rooms, through which audience members can wander freely. Acorn woos us, then, with an example of the latest craze in theater, an "environmental performance experience" that gives an audience the agency to, literally, explore the scenes.

Acorn had me with site-specific, localized, choose-your-own adventure Shakespeare in a warehouse. But lo! we also get to hear local historian extraordinaire Herb Adams expound on the era. The play's characters, too, are associated with true Maine Victorians: The King (Michael Howard) is Portland Company founder John Poor; the Countess (Stephanie Ross) is Prohibitionist Lillian Stevens. "On stage" constantly in the low-lit rooms (installation by Christopher Price), actors sit around throwing dice or knitting when their characters have a break from the monomaniacal marriage machinations of fair Helena (Elizabeth Somerville).

ALL'S WELL ON THE WATERFRONT | by William Shakespeare | Directed by Michael Levine | Produced by Acorn Productions | June 29-July 1 @ 7 pm at Building 11, Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St, Portland | acorn-productions.org | 207.854.0065

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
  Topics: Theater , Gertrude Stein, William Shakespeare, Theater,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MEGAN GRUMBLING
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   IT'S GOOD TO BE WITCH  |  September 19, 2014
    Trapped, suppressed, and unsatisfied with the small-mindedness of their small New England town, what are three divorcées of scandalous creative powers to do?
  •   PREPARE FOR THE FALL  |  September 18, 2014
    The season of theater at USM, Good Theater, Mad Horse, Portland Stage Company, and many more.
  •   TAKING CENTER STAGE  |  September 03, 2014
    “I’ve always loved hidden treasures,” says Michael Levine, founding artistic director of Acorn Productions, as he climbs the stairs to the third-floor ballroom of Mechanics Hall, a gem of a historic space concealed in plain sight right on Congress Street.
  •   BARN FULL OF WONDER  |  August 31, 2014
    Although summer is winding down, there’s still time for this summery, feel-good theatrical throwback to simpler times.
  •   BEREAVE IT OR NOT  |  August 22, 2014
    A dramedy about death, lust, and love by Portland actress and playwright Megan E. Tripaldi.

 See all articles by: MEGAN GRUMBLING