Any hubbub over the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival certainly can be considered
much ado about something. With an impressive lineup of Shakespearean drama and
veteran actors, it is no wonder many Reno residents make the pilgrimage to Tahoe
each summer to revel in the evening splendor of Shakespeare on the lake. Held
at Sand Harbor State Park in Incline Village, the almost-30-year-old festival
runs this summer from July 14 through Aug. 21.
The lineup includes the suspense thriller Macbeth and The Comedy
of Errors, Shakespeares shortest play, which also was his breakout
hit. The festivities also include the D.G. Menchetti Young Shakespeare Performances,
where the Tempest will be performed as an educational outreach at locations
throughout Reno, Sparks, and Lake Tahoe. There also will be a Shakespeare acting
camp for kids and teens held during the day at Sand Harbor.
One prodigy who got his big break at last years
acting camp is 9-year-old Truckee resident Calvin Brady.
I do want to be an actor, Calvin says. I like it cause
its really fun to act and I like to sing.
It is obvious that he takes his summer job seriously. At press
time, with practice not starting for another month, Calvin had already memorized
This youth is the only local to grace the main
stage this summer the other actors come from far and wide to bring their
talents to Tahoe. Here is a look at some of the main players and why they love
coming to Tahoe in the summer.
Scott Gilbert is the new artistic director
of Foothill Theatre, the Nevada City, Calif., -based company that has been bringing
Shakespeare to Tahoe for the last nine years. Besides acting, building sets,
and directing actors in the groups year-round schedule, this Oregonians
specialty is choreographing fight scenes.
I am part of the Society of American Fight Directors, he says.
We try to promote safe and good stage combat.
Still, the occasional slip-up does occur.
Ive seen a couple of bad accidents,
he shares. I had a blunted steel dagger go under my lip into my gum once.
Actor Rebecca Dines will have a split personality
this summer. One of the companys well-respected veteran actors, this summer
she will play Lady Macbeth and also Adriana in Comedy of Errors.
It moves from the sublime to the ridiculous, she says. There
will be no problem keeping those characters straight.
The Santa Monica resident originally is from Australia, where she acted on
a TV series. Being part of the festival for the last five years (she directed
last years As You Like It), Dines relishes her time in Tahoe.
The very first year I was up there I laid
eyes on the lake and said wow, and I keep just saying wow
every year I come back, she says. We all love to play and frolic
on the lake, exploring the beaches and places to swim.
Actor Gary Wright is a Foothill Theatre company member, acting year-round
at productions in Nevada City. He also is the literary manager for the group,
soliciting and reading scripts from playwrights all over the country during
the year. In the summer, he enjoys coming to Tahoe because the hard-working
actors also get some time to play.
The rehearsal period is pretty intense,
but once we open, the actors often go parasailing, waterskiing, or fishing,
he says. Its a pretty pleasant gig.
Allie Gilbert was practicing with her
onboard GPS system for her drive to Tahoe from Louisiana while being interviewed
for this article. The wardrobe crew veteran has worked on costumes for the festival
for three summers, traveling nearly 5,000 miles each time to do so.
I love the lake because its much
milder than south Louisiana there, its like were in a steam bath all summer long,
A former freelance actor out of Sacramento,
Karyn Casl today is a full-time actor and casting director with the Foothill
With a hectic schedule of performing and coordinating
all the companys auditions, she says the Shakespeare Festival feels like
a vacation to her.
I have been up there every summer since 1999 and its kind of my
most favorite thing right now, she says. I am pretty outdoorsy,
so I am always bugging people to go waterskiing and rent a boat. We are working
hard, but its kind of like a paid vacation.
In addition, she says, work just feels like play when you love what you do
and you get to do it in an incredible place.
I love performing at the space,
she says. There is something so amazing about performing outside at Lake
For details about the festival, visit laketahoeshakespeare.com
or call (800) 74-SHOWS for tickets.
Fun for the whole family.
The Shakespeare drama at Lake Tahoe isnt devoted to the stage; participants
create their own adventure, with picnic snacks, games of sport, and romantic