Falling into a one-way romantic affair can be devastating.
Clarity is perhaps the most important concept to Chautauqua Opera Company General and Artistic Director Jay Lesenger while he is leading a production, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth is no exception.
The trees that dapple the stage and the taxidermy that lines the walls help the 1930s-era bar dissolve into the Forest of Arden in Chautauqua Theater Company’s As You Like It.
“We wanted to create a space that had qualities of both interior and exterior. So we could — with one gesture — go from the court to the forest, but not have one disappear completely,” said set designer Lee Savage.
As You Like It, which shows at 2:15 and 8 p.m. today in Bratton Theater and runs through Aug. 17, is set in two distinct locations: a court and a forest. But the twist on the Shakespeare classic sets the entire show in the 1930s and puts the court in a bar called The Orchard.
There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are six ways the world premiere of the play Fifty Ways ties to playwright Kate Fodor’s previous world premiere.
Six people who opened Fodor’s February 2012 world premiere of Rx in New York City are now at Chautauqua for the world premiere of Fifty Ways: playwright Fodor; director Ethan McSweeny; set designer Lee Savage; production stage manager Jenn Rae Moore; assistant stage manager Bales Karlin; and sound designer Lindsay Jones.
“In a way, it’s not ‘Why are so many people from Rx working on Fifty Ways,’ but ‘Why are so many people from Chautauqua working on Rx,’ ” McSweeny said. “That comes directly out of work we’ve done with Kate here.”
The production staff for Fifty Ways is robustly discussing vomit: the consistency, the clean-up, the optimal look. When the script calls for vomit, the production team delivers.
Each production detail for the world premiere of Fifty Ways takes a discussion to perfect.
Fifty Ways debuts at 8 p.m. Friday in Bratton Theater and officially opens at 6 p.m. Saturday in Bratton Theater and runs through July 29. It is Chautauqua Theater Company’s first-ever world premiere — the middle production in a month of new work from CTC — but it is the third play the company has produced by playwright Kate Fodor.
The Chautauqua Play Commission, created by CTC and the Writers’ Center, granted Fodor the funds to write. The play’s title yields from the Paul Simon song “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” and follows one couple, played by CTC Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch and Guest Artist Actor Michael Gaston, in the throes of the later years of marriage.