The following was written by Bristol Glass, Artistic Learning intern.
As an intern, about to see the bloody glory that is Titus Andronicus, I hadn’t quite anticipated my own excitement combining with that of the group that attended Teen Night. It was a blood bath of enthusiasm—ha! What exactly is Teen Night, you ask? Well, aside from it being the most fun you’ll ever have, it’s a pre-show event for students ages 13-18, this time including delicious pizza and soda (which flew out of the coolers—thanks to the Professional Immersion Program crew) in the Upper Grove. A mesh of California Shakespeare Theater staff, parents, students, and my fellow interns created a rowdy groundling-esque bunch. Clearly, there was a love for Shakespeare all around! Our fun, interactive pre-show activity for the night was a “32 Second Titus Andronicus” competition between, of course, the Romans and the Goths. Brevity was key in successfully completing the ultra-abridged version of our Teen Night Titus. It’s very telling that the Romans won, but thankfully all character participants remained alive and well to continue eating their pizza after the activity. Highlights of each teams’ run included a lot of blind gender casting—specifically the roles of Lavina and Tamora, which provided our cast with some interesting dynamics. Getting to see involved teens in their element was my favorite part.
I’ll even say that watching that night’s Titus performance with this group in the audience was a theatrical experience all on its own, as the teens were deeply engrossed in the show; in awe of the skillful fight scenes or even surprised at the comedic moments-jaws dropped to the ground and snickers were shared between amused friends. It was an entertaining time with an uproarious, artistic, eager group of under-30 folks. It was an opportunity like no other to have experienced Titus Andronicus with such a unique, eager crowd in the seats.
For more details about the event, click on http://calshakes.org/news/tag/titus-andronicus/.