I know Elizabethan Theatre is not everyone’s bag, baby. Tell someone you are going to see Shakespeare and it often conjures up the image of ball gowns and opera glasses. That is what I enjoy so much about The Baron’s Men. They understand that the theatre was meant for the masses, not the high brow, monocle wearing, I-like-fancy-words-and-that-makes-me-smarter-than-you crowd. The Baron’s Men want the crowd to get into it. If you don’t like a character, let him know by hissing. If you think something is funny, laugh. (And trust me, there is plenty to laugh at in The Spanish Tragedie, We like to think of it as the Portuguese Comedy). The point is to immerse yourself in the experience. Suspend belief for a few hours and pretend you are going to the theatre 400 years ago.
Here are some tips on how to have a Bonecrush’n good time;
Bring Cash – tickets are $15 dollars each at the gate, they now take credit cards. Also, there are chairs for rent and various accoutrements for sale.
Show up early – The grounds are a wonderland and it is a perfect time to enjoy a pre-play picnic. We usually get there around 7:00.
Rent a chair – they are only a dollar and serve two purposes. They save your seat and save your rear from the wooden benches.
Bring your own tasty beverage – nothing goes better with an evening at the theatre than a nice white wine or a fine ale.
Bring a coin to toss on stage – the finest compliment an Elizabethan actor could enjoy was having coins tossed on stage during the encore. Tossed, my friends, not pelted. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Become a participant – cheer for the good guys, hiss the villains. Not sure who the villain is? Hiss at the man in black…usually a good plan.
Follow your senses, not your ears – Elizabethan English can be befuddling. Don’t worry about it. Watch the play, follow the crowd and I promise you by the end you will have had a great time.
Be Respectful – The Baron’s Men work hard to provide a wonderful service to the community, with very little compensation. The crowd is there to enjoy theatre as is should be played. Get into the show, but boo the character, not the actor. Keep the extemporaneous noise to a minimum, as the actors have no microphones. Have a drink, but abstain from becoming the drunken fool.
The stage is set; the actors are dressed; the play is rehearsed. All that remains now is for the seats to be filled. Go see the Baron’s Men and have a Bonecrush’n good time!
The Baron’s Men Present – The Spanish Tragedie by Thomas Kyd
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays October 17th – November 9th
The Curtain Theatre, Austin, Texas