Top Ten Reasons to See The Baron’s Men: Reason 3 – Theatre on Weed

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Have you ever seen Historic Theatre?  Have you ever seen Historic Theatre on Weed?  That’s some crazy shit, man.  Easy there, Killer.  Get your half-baked mind back to earth and know that I am talking about Casey Weed, director of The Baron’s Men’s Production of The Alchemist.  The line still stands, though…crazy shit, man.  When I first heard that Casey was going to be directing the Spring performance for the Baron’ Men I knew it was going to be good, raunchy humor that isn’t afraid to smack the audience in the face.  Known as ‘King of the Groundlings’ by the other troupe members (the dirty jokes in Elizabethan Theatre were written largely for the Groundlings) Casey never lets ribald wit go unnoticed.  His first production with the Baron’s Men, The Bawdy Five, was actually done to prove that Chaucer wasn’t boring and stiff but lewd, crude, and downright rude.  I know his handling of Ben Jonson’s masterpiece will be equally lascivious not only because of the motley crew of characters in the cast but also because of the excitement Casey had sharing a quote that basically boiled down to “I fart in thy general direction.”

There is more to Casey’s direction than dirty words though.  What stands out most is his passionate insistence that the actors play with the audience, not for them.  He encourages every player to look for opportunities to tear down the fourth wall and have a dialogue with the audience.  Elizabethan Theatre was much more interactive than the passive theatre we have on both stage and screen.  Ferris Bueller was the last Hollywood character I can remember that had a dialogue with the audience.  It is this interaction with the crowd that drew Casey to the Baron’s Men.  He wasn’t in their inaugural production but he was in the audience and is proud to be their first convert.  He is now a veteran of nine Baron’s Men productions and this is his second play to direct.  Although he strives for historical accuracy, as do all The Baron’s Men, he is not above building a bridge to the modern to help the audience follow along.  Was that ABBA I just heard sprinkled into the soundtrack?  Could be, my friend, could be.

We are particularly lucky this season as we get a double hit of Weed (puff, puff, give!) for the Alchemist.  Casey’s wife of ten years, Cherie, is responsible for costume design this year.  And if that is not enough Weed for you she will also be playing in the accompanying band, The Nimble Marmosets.  When the Weeds aren’t pouring their souls into the Baron’s Men they enjoy fixing up their home, Chez Weed, and playing with their two dogs.  Casey is particularly proud of Daisy Mae, their female bird dog whom he swears is on wanted posters across the quail community.  Whether playing with their dogs or playing with the audience the Weeds truly know that “All the world’s a stage” and they are writing their own scene.  Go see the Baron’s Men and get high on Weed.

The Baron’s Men Present – The Alchemist by Ben Jonson

Thu-Sat evenings at 8:00 from April 12th to April 28th

The Curtain Theatre, Austin, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/278532692221245/

http://thebaronsmen.org/tickets/

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Comments
  1. Casey says:

    Yeah, if you play it like they wrote it the Elizabethan comedies are definitely less posh than we see in film. Fart jokes. Violence. Lot’s of sex references. Actors chatting with the audience. Dodgeball or Zoolander are way closer to the humor mark than some of the sissyfied and sanitized stuffy Shakespeare you see on the screen and stage today. Hooray for farts and sex!

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