Kramer plays one of Shakespeare's actors, imprisoned in the Tower of London, who has some advice for the Bard. But he'd better hurry, because he's been handed a death sentence. Todd Moe talks with Greg Kramer who says the show is a passionate, and at times humorous, plea for theatre.
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Kramer describes his role as, “a member of Shakespeare’s acting company who joins the rebellion, the 1607 rebellion, and then comes back and gives Shakespeare a bit of his mind.”
Kramer is on stage by himself as if he was alone in his prison cell. It’s a long performance for a single actor--an hour and twenty minutes. He said the challenges are to keep the audience’s attention, and to keep his energy up.
Kramer reflects on the feelings and actions of his character in monologue, and in a way that makes it seem as if he is talking to the wall, or to himself. “He relives part of the story as he goes through… we do have him reconstructing his conversations with Shakespeare.”--along with memories of battle, of escaping from soldiers, and a variety of moment in the past.
Kramer believes this play has a lot of relevance with today’s issues, such as the occupy movement. At the same time it is very funny. The character is constantly making jokes as he tries to “belittle what is going to happen to him.”
Reality does intrude every now and then, with people screaming and other sound effects. Few props are used, the most important one being a carrot, which stands in for everything Kramer’s character needs to tell his stories: a sword, a pen, a spade, a whip and more. “It’s just like a story in a pub, you know, or your Uncle Jack telling a story at thanksgiving--he uses the salt shaker to become part of his story.”