‘The Shoemaker’s Holiday’ on stage
The Elizabethan-period production of “The Shoemaker’s Holiday,” BYU-Idaho’s first theatre production in the amphitheater, opened July 1 and will continue July 8-11 at 7:30 p.m.
Steven G. Schmid, the production’s director, said the BYU-I Theatre Department wanted to do an Elizabethan-style play this year, and that the department decided to use the amphitheater.
“I love doing outdoor theatre. I think it’s a lot of fun,” Schmid said. “I think it’s a great way to see a venue, especially given the type of show we are doing.”
He also said he had experience working in outdoor theaters as a technician. He said he felt that a comedy would better fit the new outdoor environment.
“It has a very festival feel to it,” Schmid said. “It’s a play for the people out in the public. [It’s] how theatre began, being performed in quarry arts and state fairs. I think it’s a fun way to come full circle and mount a full production.”
Richard Clifford, an instructor for the Department of Theatre and Dance, said he liked the idea of using the amphitheater this semester because it was the only time available for such a production in spring weather conditions.
Clifford said he started out as a producer for the play and then transitioned to becoming an actor, playing the part of the king.
Schmid said some of the challenges of launching a production outdoors include being careful with transporting the equipment to and from the amphitheater, having sufficient amounts of makeup for the actors on set, and having enough electrical power to run the all the equipment.
He said inclement weather like rain is another challenge to the production because most of the costumes made are dry-clean only.
“Specifically to Rexburg, more so than water, I’m worried about wind,” Schmid said. “The wind can either gently guide the actors’ voices to the audience or it can completely sweep them away and abolish them.”
Schmid said that in order to prevent the wind from disrupting the audio of the show, the actors will be wearing microphones.
However, he said the microphones will only be turned on if they are needed. He said he likes the idea of the actors using their own voices, as actors did 400 hundred years ago.
Caleb Anderton, a freshman majoring in theatre studies, plays the male lead of Rowland Lacy. He said one of the problems an actor faces during an outdoor performance is voice projection.
Anderton said Schmid helped actors experiment with making their voices resonate in order to enhance the outdoor performance.
“It’s just the different places in your body where you can place your voice — either in your chest or out of your head or in your nose,” Anderton said. “It’s different ways to get your sound out there.”
Rachel Lines, a sophomore majoring in theatre studies, plays the female lead of Rose Oatley.
Lines said in order to perform in an outdoor theater, actors need to make their characters larger and more exaggerated than if they were performing in a smaller indoor theater.
Trevor Lenz, an audience member and a student studying psychology, said he liked the production, but the sunlight was a distraction to some of the audience members.
Clifford said “The Shoemaker’s Holiday” was a test to try out the outdoor-style production, and he hopes more outdoor plays will take place in the future.
Tickets for the show are $3 for students and $6 for patrons.