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  • Janna van Leeuwen

Part V - Who's Afraid of Shakespeare

Small cast, new lines and little time to set the play, we see ourselves in the people we are playing. It is a challenge, but it never feels like an impossible one. We plan rehearsals during the weekends, more so than during previous years, to make up for lost time. This gives us more time to dive into the material, to practise and get to know each other, as we have seen some of our cast only on the computer screen so far. As long as that enthusiasm is there, that drive to get this done and a trust that we will take care of ourselves and each other, we know it will work out. It is truly an inspiring process.


But if we’re being honest, every single Park Avenue show contains just as much thought, laughter and creativity as this one.

Along with the cast, Jo thinks of original ways to tell Shakespeare’s stories. In Richard III, we created a culture complete with our own greetings and ways to murder. In As You Like It, the audience was asked to wear green, as we played through them as through the forest of Arden. All’s Well That Ends Well was converted into a Web Series with scenes chosen by the cast. That Shakespeare can be an intimidating text to work with is reflected in the title of our current play, “Who’s afraid of Macbeth?”, but the way Park Avenue approaches it shows that they are plays full of creative opportunities with rich characters and beautiful language, which, after 400 years, are still a source of inspiration.


Telling the story, and everything that revolves around it, is what makes them worth exploring. We are not academics, we are storytellers.


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