Circle of Will, a Hilarious Take on Shakespeare's "Lost Years"
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The last date listed for Circle of Will was Sunday August 15, 2010 / 7:00pm.
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Venture Into the Woods with the acclaimed Fiasco Theater production that became New York's surprise… More
Quotes & Highlights
“Simply put, it’s wonderful. At the risk of trying to be too clever, the only way find yourself breathless with laughter and at the same time questioning what Life is really all about is to go to see this show.”—On Stage Los Angeles
Directed by Brian Herskowitz
Circle of Will begins on a discomfiting note, as William Shakespeare and the first celebrated Shakespearean leading actor, Richard Burbage, contemplate an expiring woman, to paraphrase an old Johnny Cash song, just to watch her die.
But the rest of the play is a barrel of laughs. Burbage (“The Dirk”), a vain star, wants Will to write him a heroic, romantic starring role. Will prefers to write him character roles. In fact, he has a new script, Gonzago and the King, so thick that Dirk repeatedly refers to it as a “footstool.”
Much of the show deals with a lively debate concerning the struggle between the artistic goals of the playwright, the needs of the actor, and the wants of the audience who, after all, show up with the idea of being entertained. Various implements of mayhem, such as assorted daggers and a bottle of poison, come into play during the course of the debate. If the audience expects to have a completely passive experience watching this show, that’s a mistake.
With this being the 400th anniversary year of The Tempest, Butterfield Row Productions thought it appropriate to revive this 1986 production. That and the fact that it’s just plain hilarious.
Co-writer Jack Grapes plays Will Shakespeare. He is a celebrated poet and publisher of poetry, the recipient of multiple NEA fellowships and numerous California Arts Council grants.
Co-writer Bill Cakmis has written extensively for television and film.
Joe Briggs plays Burbage. His recent stage credits include Another Vermeer, La Ronde de Lunch, Dangerous Corner, and 2 Weddings, 2 Years. He appeared in the feature film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and had recurring roles on TV’s Passions and Undressed.