All The World’s A Stage.

Every year the Nashville Shakespeare Festival puts on a production in Centennial Park. If you look at their production history you can see they’ve mostly done comedies, but sometimes you have to have a little tragedy with your comedy, and, let’s face it, there’s only so many times they can do A Midsummer Night’s Dream before people get tired of it. This year they’re doing Henry V. They’re giving it a U.S. Civil War theme, which seems timely given recent events and the fact that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the war’s end.

That also reminds me of a British production of MacBeth I once saw where the costume designer and director obviously hadn’t done their history homework and didn’t realize the guys in the gray uniforms and the guys in the blue uniforms were on opposite sides, but that’s another story.

The plays are always great, but what I really love is going to the set during my lunch break and looking at the set. I love getting behind the scenes and imagining how it will all look when the sun goes down and the lights come up.




A detail most of the audience might miss: they’ve covered the stage with mulch.


Noblesse oblige.

001 002 004 006 007 008 009 010 012 014 016 017 018 019 020 021 022 023 024Here are a couple of pictures from previous productions.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2013:

shakespeare1Much Ado About Nothing, 2012:

shakespeare2Romeo & Juliet, 2011:





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  1. kdcol

    How fun. Thanks for sharing the pics. I wonder what they do if/when it rains?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Sometimes if it rains they press on as best they can and hope the audience has brought umbrellas or other covers. If lightning and thunder starts they shut the whole thing down. One year when they did A Comedy of Errors they had barely gotten into the third or fourth scene when the weather forced them to stop. It was just as well. The actors were having trouble concentrating on their lines because of the rain.

  2. Gina W.

    I swear this is true and I’m not writing this to be funny but when I opened your post and saw the photo (and without reading the text), the first thing I thought is that this must be an event so support Parkinson’s Disease. Soooooo….yeah. Shakespeare is good, but so is eradicating diseases, to either event would be worthy of attendance.

    Also, saw the “Must resist Twitter” comment. Why? It’s fun! All the kids are doing it! Come join us! You know you want to. (Seriously– it is loads of fun).

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m sure Twitter is loads of fun–when people talk about tweets it always sounds like a huge amount of fun and it seems like there’s all kinds of fun stuff flying every which way on Twitter. I’m just worried about it eating up too much of my time. It’s too tempting.
      And, yeah, eradicating diseases is a good thing and I’d support that as well. A “Shakes Festival” for Parkinson’s would be hilarious.

    2. Jay

      That’s too funny!

  3. Sandra

    I love that you have pics of the stage from all those years. And “Noble Seating”…pffft…

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      They do a lot of audience participation–actors wander into the audience, take food out of peoples’ picnic baskets, and so on. When they did Much Ado About Nothing Benedick “hid” in the audience by borrowing some guy’s baseball cap and someone else’s sunglasses. Anyway I hope the “Noble Seating” is part of the story and that they eventually give that up. That’s really the best seating there.

  4. Ann Koplow

    I love being merely a player on your blogging stage, Chris, no matter what the stages.

    We have our exits and our entrances (not necessarily in that order).

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I love having you enter and exit here from one scene to the next. Traditionally acts in Shakespeare plays end with a couplet; I can’t seem to think of one now, but I wish I had one to offer.


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