Last night we went over to Laurelhurst Park for some Shakespeare. The Original Practice Shakespeare Company, which could only do Zoom Performances during the Covid Shutdown, is now back to performing its open air, 18-play repertoire in person!
Original Practice means that this talented troupe of players prepares for and performs the plays as the troupes did in Shakespeare’s day. Since there were no copyright laws and printed scripts could be stolen and performed elsewhere, each player was given a scroll with only their lines. Also, since each troupe would perform many plays on a very tight schedule, rehearsals were non-existent. Each performance was, and is, a new experience.
It is delightful!
Twelfth Night is a raucous comedy, full of gender switching and mistaken identities, pompous aristocrats and clever underlings. Performed by the talented OPS, it had us laughing, cheering, booing and swooning.
Sitting in lawn chairs under the trees, enjoying Shakespeare, snacks and wine and surrounded by people, kids, and dogs also enjoying their snacks and wine, is a uniquely Portland experience. I have missed it more than I can say and am grateful to have it back.