Last night I went to the company picnic for the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. This year I went as a wife AND as a mom. It's going to be so cool seeing both my guys on stage this summer, though I'm certain that I'll get weepy when I see my son murdered.
The Dominator was nervous when we first arrived at the picnic, but he quickly made friends with the girl who will be playing his sister. He told me last night that now he wasn't as nervous about working at the Festival because he has a friend.
There weren't nearly as many familiar faces at the picnic as their usually are, though there were certainly quite a few. David Blixt is returning to the festival for the first time since 2000. Paul Molnar is also making another appearance--his first since 2002. From last year's company there was Tom Foley, Nathaniel Nose, and many, many technical crew, board members, and management staff. Mark Gmazel and George Angell weren't there, but they are returning to the festival this year.
Pamela Lewis, an absolutely delightful actress and human being, was also there. She'll be reprising her role as Lady Macbeth. She is one of the most amazing conversationalists I've ever met. I adore talking to her--she's amazing.
There was also a production presentation where a model of the set and costume drawings were shown. As usual, their production values are extremely high and both shows are going to be visual treats. Henry V is set in 2007 while Macbeth will be set timeless with elements from many periods being subtly woven into the costumes and designs.
I've seen Shakespeare done in a lot of places: Lansing, Stratford, Ann Arbor (including performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company), Atlanta, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando; but nowhere have I enjoyed it as much as I do the productions of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. They have such commitment to every element of the production and I've never been disappointed in a show.