By Marie Lowe, Assistant Artistic Director; Master of Audience
Actors sweat. Costumes, wigs, lights, nerves, and the physical nature of many shows guarantee a sweaty curtain call. It’s no big deal, really – you do what you can to be clean and deodorized and have minty fresh breath, but at the end of the day you don’t judge your castmates and they don’t judge you, because acting is a sweaty business.
However, here at Sweet Tea Shakespeare we have a lot more sweat than an average production, and not just because of these glorious Fayetteville summers. We sweat the PRODUCTION stuff. Every performer in a Sweet Tea production has put hours of sweat equity into it, building the stage, stringing the lights, and loading in the sound equipment and the costumes and the props. It’s work that many actors never even see, because at other theaters wonderful technical crews do it when we’re not around.
We sweat the ARTISTIC stuff. Every song during the pre show and the show itself has been arranged or composed by our music director and musicians. Every character choice has been meticulously considered. Every movement, but particularly fighting and dancing, has been choreographed by a company member and rehearsed deep into our muscle memories. Every prop and costume has been collected or designed or painted or sewn by hand, by us. We all contribute to make each show look, sound, feel, and, yes, smell, the way it should.
We especially sweat the COMMUNITY stuff. It starts with making our castmates, musicians, and volunteers feel welcome and important and supported. We like each other, we respect each other, and we choose each other – for a taco before rehearsal or a drink afterwards or a fantastic Zumba class or a role-playing game or to do a reading at your wedding or to take a trip together or visit your church. We put time into each other. We also like and respect and choose Fayetteville, and are constantly reaching out to this community – through our work with FAPS and the Arts Council, through our educational programs, through our relationships with the other fantastic theaters in town, through our outreach to Girl Scouts and church groups and senior groups – and to our audience, through our social media platforms and our pre show fellowship and the occasional bit of audience interaction. We put time into Fayetteville, and into you.
The Tempest absolutely glistens with the sweat we’ve put in. So come. Come early for “What You Will” (our pre show) and enjoy delicious barbecue, fantastic music, and a chat with the cast. Unfold your chair and settle in for a night of magic and hijinks and glory. And if you feel a little trickle of sweat run down your temple, don’t you worry. The sweat is what makes it so great.
And we won’t ever judge.