Cast (l-r) Dan Williams, Stephanie Johnson, Steven J. York Cast (l-r) Dan Williams, Stephanie Johnson, Steven J. York Laura Brazak / Brazak Photography
Written by  Jul 11, 2016

Theatre Du Jour Presents Madcap, Physical, Over-The-Top Production

Theatre Du Jour (TDJ), puts Shakespeare on his ear as they present “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged,” a dinner theatre production filled with action, quick costume changes, and improvisational comedy on Friday, July 15, at G.S. Steamers.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous and over the top,” said Stephanie Johnson, who performs in the production. “ It’s physical from the second we come on the stage. If you love Shakespeare, you will love the show. If you hate Shakespeare, you will love the show.”

The ensemble, which also includes Steven J. York and Dan Williams, runs through 37 of Shakespeare’s major plays in 97 minutes. Director Richard Mosher said he has set the fast-paced performance in a compact eight foot by eight-foot area with quick changes on stage, so the performers never leave, except for intermission.

“The context of the works has been revised to be more in sync with popular culture so the actors talk about things that make it relatable to a modern audience,” Mosher said. Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield wrote the production.

Rehearsals for the production have been unconventional. York, who is currently a production manager for a children’s theatre camp in Pennsylvania, had to rehearse with the ensemble online. “It’s the first time I’ve ever rehearsed for a play digitally,” York said. “But I use video conferencing a lot in production planning.”

York is a professional arts and entertainment producer and event emcee in Oswego, said TDJ’s Facebook page. He studied Theatre and Events Management at Florida State University after earning his BFA in Acting and Directing at Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va.

Johnson, also according to TDJ’s Facebook page, was last seen as “Georganne” in TDJ’s recent production of “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.” She has also been a regular on the Oswego Player’s stage. She has also performed in Off-Off-Broadway and at the New York Comedy Club in New York City. Johnson holds a BA in Acting and Directing from SUNY Oswego.

Williams is a 2009 graduate SUNY Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts, said TDJ’s Facebook page. He has performed with several Syracuse-area theatre groups, including Appleseed, BTG, Rarely Done Productions, Re House and Wit’s End Players, as well as with Fulton Community Theater, Oswego Players, Oswego Children’s Theater and Port City Theater.

The production is also scheduled for Thursday, July 21 at The Eis House in Mexico, and at the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion in August.

Tickets for Friday night’s show are $60. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 p.m., and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. For more information, find them on Facebook under Theatre Du Jour - A dinner theatre experience.

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