We are Giant Squid Productions and we are presenting Shakespeare in the Courtyard this summer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn's McGolrick Park. When us Squids first met about doing Shakespeare this summer, we intended to do all performances in our courtyard at 73 Kingsland. All four of us have lived in that apartment and hosted many a BBQ, and the idea of giving our audience not only food and booze but Shakespeare too was really exciting. To choose the show, we each pitched our top choice. Tatiana, pitching Titus Andronicus, came prepared with a Lego reproduction of the courtyard and had very intriguing ideas for incorporating BBQ into the flesh-eating scene. Leah pitched a bawdy, over-the-top, puppet-fueled Romeo and Juliet set in the early 90s. Tim pitched Love’s Labour’s Lost complete with 50s-style stewardess chorus girls greeting the audience outside. But the one that won was Margarita’s pitch of As You Like It. This comedy provided outstanding roles for everyone in our company, could feasibly be done with a handful of actors and gave us the opportunity to play with puppets, an important requisite.
In 2006, while sharing an apartment at 73 Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn, Giant Squid Productions banded together to produce multiple shows that involved politics, clowning, drinking and live music. Together GSP produced Brecht’s The Elephant Calf late-night with beers and bands in the basement of the now defunct Jean Cocteau Repertory and A Man’s a Man in FringeNYC, in addition to countless readings and workshops.
Over the years, the Giant Squids spread out geographically, with some members moving to Queens and others as far as Boston, MA. This summer, we’re reuniting to bring Shakespeare to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Because of our desire to bring Shakespeare to an area that otherwise has little outdoor summer theater, we chose McGolrick Park, a short walk from the Nassau Avenue G train station. Because we want to bring theater to our neighborhood, performances are free. And, because we like to drive ourselves crazy, we've decided to do As You Like It with only 5 actors! We're up for the challenge but we need your help to do it!
Leah Bonvissuto is directing the production, with design by Ashley Rose Horton and stage management by Christopher Petrinovic. Visit Shakespeare in the Courtyard.
Risks and challenges
Luckily, we have obtained permits from the Parks Department and have completed casting. As rehearsals begin, we need your help in raising funds to make this production a reality. While we're raising a relatively small amount of money compared to others producing shows, your help is essential in helping us pay for costume and puppet materials, park permits, rehearsal space, transportation for actors and the many other costs that arise in producing a show. Our goal is to bring Shakespeare to north Brooklyn free of charge, and your advance help will make that possible. Thank you in advance for your generosity!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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