Shakespeare’s ‘lost play’ re-imagined
By William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
Edited by Gregory Doran and Antonio Alamo
By arrangement with Nick Hern Books
Friday, January 24, 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 25, 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 26, 2 pm
Round House Theatre
Silver Spring, Maryland
Next door to AFI -- Parking available in public garage at corner of Fenton and Roeder
Directed by Kelly Newman O’Connor and John O’Connor
Production Manager: Julie Reiner
Costume Design by Kelly Newman O’Connor Set Design by John O’Connor
Jeff Struewing, Props Master Ron Murphy, Sound/Videographer
Tickets available at www. BrownPaperTickets.com.
$15 adults; $8 students under 18, and retirees
For more information, please visit www.LuminaStudio.org ‘
or contact Lumina at email@example.com
Lumina Studio Theatre: 301-565-2282
620 Pershing Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910
It is not often that a theatre company has the chance to premiere a new play by William Shakespeare. But that is exactly – well, almost exactly – what Lumina Theatre Group will be doing on January 24th when they stage Cardenio, a ‘re-imagining’ of a play which for centuries has been known to scholars as ‘Shakespeare’s Lost Play’.
Here is the story. In the winter of 1612-13 a play called Cardenna or Cardenno, written by William Shakespeare and his younger fellow-playwright John Fletcher, was several times performed at court. The plot was based upon an episode in Miguel de Cervantes’ 1605 comic masterpiece Don Quixote first published in an English translation by Thomas Shelton. Records show that a script of “Cardenio by Mr Fletcher and Shakespeare” still existed forty years later. After that it disappeared until 1727, when a Shakespeare scholar called Lewis Theobald claimed to have received a copy that had been handed down through two or three generations of theatre people. Aware that his version had already been adapted to suit eighteenth century tastes (and wanting to give equal roles to his two leading actors), Theobald staged it under the title of Double Falsehood. Almost three centuries later, in 2010, finally convinced that the text contained a significant amount of ‘Shakespeare DNA’, the play was published in the highly prestigious and scholarly Arden Shakespeare series. Then, within a year, an adaptation of it had been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company under its original title, Cardenio. Aware that Theobald’s version was missing several key scenes from the Cervantes story, the RSC had filled in the gaps with dialogue constructed from Shelton’s 1610 translation and other plays by John Fletcher in which he had drawn upon Cervantes. When the resulting Cardenio script was staged in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2011, its romance, Spanish grandeur and comedy made it a huge success, and now Lumina Theatre Group are thrilled to be giving the RSC’s version of ‘Shakespeare’s Lost Play’ its US premiere.
Co-directed by Shakespeare scholars Kelly and John O’Connor, Cardenio is just the latest in a string of productions performed by Lumina Theatre Group, the adult wing of the highly successful Lumina Studio Theatre for younger actors. So far the company has focused on large-scale adaptations of classic texts such as The Canterbury Tales and Henry Fielding’s eighteenth century masterpiece Tom Jones. But, having seen the RSC’s Cardenio in England, Kelly and John knew it would be the perfect vehicle for Lumina’s talented company. They were also already fans of Shakespeare’s young collaborator John Fletcher, having recently staged his The Tamer Tamed (a hilarious sequel to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew) with the students of Montgomery Blair High School.
Kelly, also the designer and maker of the sumptuous Spanish Renaissance costumes the setting demands, is thrilled to be staging this ‘new’ Shakespeare play. “In rehearsals,” she says, “we have constantly found ourselves saying ‘Yes: that certainly feels like Shakespeare’. But the strong focus on honor also recalls any number of Spanish plays from the same period. It’s an electrifying mix.” This was certainly the experience of the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran: “Part of the excitement of Cardenio,” he says, “is that you don't know what is going to happen next…. Sometimes it is very funny. It then leads you down a completely different path and turns into something extraordinarily tragic, and then resolves itself like a late Shakespeare play.”
“We’re convinced audiences will be intrigued by this production,” says co-director John O’Connor. “After all, how often do you get the chance to see a new play by William Shakespeare?”
ABOUT LUMINA STUDIO THEATRE
Founded in New York City in 1995 by Jillian Raye Minton, Lumina Studio Theatre moved to the Takoma Park/Silver Spring, Maryland area in 1997. Since that time, Lumina has presented over100 productions, mostly Shakespeare with some forays into Dickens, as well as other classic and contemporary playwrights including Tom Stoppard, Sam Shepard, Karen Hartman, Edward Albee, Samuel Beckett, Carol Churchill, Jean Giraudoux, and playwright-in-residence David Minton.
Lumina Studio Theatre’s mission is to provide unique opportunities for young and adult actors of all levels of experience to perform classic theatre in a professional setting.
Under the artistic direction of David Minton, Lumina engages actors in a rigorous, comprehensive, performance-directed program of theatre arts focusing on Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech and Drama techniques, and on the teachings of Stella Adler and Michael Chekhov, with in-depth vocal and character coaching, improvisation, stage combat, live music, and dance choreography supporting the production in progress.
Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin recently remarked: “Lumina Studio Theatre’s work is transformative and magnificent… If you want to see what real education looks like, go watch a Lumina production and let the cast, the set, the costumes and choreography, stage combat, the music, and the whole experience blow your mind. This theatre company is a community treasure and is deserving of national attention and recognition.”
Currently holding rehearsals and classes in what is known as The White House at 620 Pershing Drive, near downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Lumina’s program is open to all drama enthusiasts, regardless of ability, background or experience. There are no auditions. Actors are challenged and inspired to do their best work, supported by high production values in the staging of the plays with professional costumes, set, sound and lighting, resulting in enthusiastic accolades from press and audiences alike. In the process of their training in acting and directing, Lumina’s actors acquire a lifelong love of language and literature. Whether or not they pursue acting or directing as a profession, they become informed and astute patrons of the arts.
The organization has four distinct performing groups: Lumina Studio Theatre Youth (ages 8-15), Lumina Ensemble (for 15-19 year olds), Lumina Summerstock Theatre (four programs for different age groupings, 8-15), and Lumina Theatre Group (adults). Lumina stages nine productions each season, and presents most of its performances at the Round House Theatre in downtown Silver Spring.
David Minton, artistic and executive director of Lumina Studio Theatre, received this year’s award for “Outstanding Artist and Scholar Award” from the County Executive and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
For an introduction to Lumina Studio Theatre, watch the 4.44 minute YouTube video featuring excerpts from the 2011-2012 season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTFaUPkRM30
View photos and posters from past Lumina productions: www.LuminaStudio.org