The 2014 Illinois Shakespeare Festival Closes

Scenic Design by Kristin Ellert, Lighting Design by Sarah Maines

Scenic Design by Kristin Ellert, Lighting Design by Sarah Maines

Last night was the final performance of the 2014 Illinois Shakespeare Festival. This year, the festival was presented as a trilogy, as we performed Much Ado About Nothing, Elizabeth Rex, and Antony and Cleopatra. Rex was the glue that tied the other two shows together (the story takes place after a production of Much Ado and while Shakespeare is writing Antony), and I am so happy with how the Festival turned out.

This year, I was hired as the composer and music director of the entire festival, and I had so much fun creating the music for each show. For Much Ado and Rex, I had an ensemble of flute, oboe, and cello and almost all of the music was original … I did pull one piece and arrange it for instruments and voices, but the rest was original. I also wrote the music for the 20-minute pre-show for Rex (save one piece which was a Monteverdi piece that I arranged), so I was able to write quite a bit. For Antony and Cleopatra, my assistant created several rhythms and we compiled them to be played by percussion ensemble (our acting interns).

Writing for and rehearsing three shows simultaneously is a tall order, however, we had a fantastic team of people working on these shows and a great set of directors in Jonathan West, Paula Suozzi, and Kevin Rich. It was hard to believe that this season could be better than last season, but we had a great foundation to build on.

I was able to record our musicians playing some of the music, and will be loading it to the site within the next few weeks.

And on to the next project …

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