Just over 20 years ago, I drove out past Chicken Bridge in Chatham County then down a long gravel road to James Carnahan’s self-designed and self-build house and small odeon to see a performance of Medea. The show was intimate and the actors familiar and the weather was wonderful.
This afternoon, we drove out across a new Chicken Bridge then down a partially paved road to the former home of James Carnahan (he now lives in Carrboro) and to the same odeon. I’ve seen several plays there over the years many advertised by word of mouth only and all well played.
Today we saw Shakespeare’s Tempest played by the Shakespeare and Originals Company. Some of the actors, notably Tom Marriott this time in the role of Prospero, were in the Medea. Others were not yet born at the time of the Medea production.
The play, produced on a lovely fall afternoon, had several unique and interesting touches. Miranda was played as a tom-boy who seemed awfully interested in touching her own toes. The Dukes were given to business suits and the clowns Stephano and Trinculo (who was more properly Trincula) were in even more formal dress. Caliban, who played the oppressed colonial to the hilt, was dress like Fred Flintstone — not in a bad way bit that was my first and enduring impression.
A News and Observer review of the same production at a different venue notices how well this production does in making the play clear and accessible, drawing strongly on the comic attributes of the play, and being inventive in the costuming, etc.