Telluride’s Shakespeare in the Park theatre production
This was an extremely challenging project for me. This was due to the low light conditions, time constraints and also because I was respectful not to interfere with the actual show. I was vacationing in the beautiful Telluride, Colorado and I noticed there was a Shakespeare production showing for a few nights at the local theatre. Incidentally, the theatre itself is an open front construction that faces out over the San Juan mountain range. It’s a stunning setting. The audience is graced with the beauty of the sun setting over the ranges peaks as they sit there enjoying some theatre. It really is quite magical.
I’m getting way ahead of myself here. I had seen posters up around the town advertising the show and it had pricked my interest. I’d never seen or even read any Shakespeare. The towns attitude is infectious, and I decided to go along. I hadn’t intended to take photographs, I was giving myself the evening off. When I arrived however, I was struck by the beauty of the setting. The small set up of the production was also intriguing, the actors would perform amongst the audience. The audience would be seated on the actual stage. I thought this was an extremely wonderful little touch. I took a couple of holiday snaps before the show started and thought it was all looking to neat to pass up.
Due to the intimacy of the event I thought it was right that I ask for permission. I found the director and producer and asked if it would be ok to take photographs. They were delighted because they had very few photographs of their production. Shakespeare in the Park is an annual event and they had little photographic evidence. I asked to get introduced to the actors so I could make sure they were all personally ok with me working away, and I asked what restrictions I had in regards to where I could stand and move to throughout the show. They were very accommodating and gave me free reign. Before the show I positioned two stools either side of the stage behind the seating, of which I would stand on during the production. There was a balcony on the stage from which actors would deliver lines from at points in a Romeo & Juliet fashion – I was given permission to get up into there also – what a great vantage point that was. I also spent some time backstage photographing actors preparing themselves. The backstage was a great place to be during the interval, they got a guitar in there and had a group sing song.
The event was amazing, the production (Merchant of Venice) was excellent. I found it a great introduction to Shakespeare. I worked throughout as silent as a ninja and got some great photographs. The actors and crew were delightful and invited me back to the after party… I got very drunk, as did every one else.
I am still in touch with most of the guys and girls who put on Shakespeare in the park, a couple of them good friends now who I always visit when I’m back in the area. I gave them free reign to use the photographs as they wished, not only did they give me my ticket money back but I made some great friends. Friends who offer me free accommodation when ever I’m back in beautiful the area.
If you are ever in Telluride, you must check out Shakespeare in the Park, it’s a lot of fun.