TNT’s Formula for Shakespeare
How does TNT continue to dish up a fresh interpretation of what can be a stale canon of literature that’s been around for over 400 years? Here’s a peek at TNT’s magic formula.
First, we read the text and actually look up the words in an old dictionary. Understanding what you are saying helps immensely. Experts agree that people get only 7% of the meaning of a word from hearing the word spoken. Add emotion or tone and the comprehension jumps to 45%. Finally, body language makes up the lion’s share (55%) of what is understood. In order to be understood, you must first understand.
Next, we try to grasp the real principles that have made Shakespeare’s works so enduring. He captures human fallacies and emotions with stunning clarity. As performers if we can grasp what each character wants our job becomes easy.
When we are working on a script we look at the current world and try to make connections between then and now. I have read enough of the Bard to know that he would have been the first to update his script to fit in a current joke or play on words. He also would have been the first to cut a joke that had gone stale because the context was no longer relative.
Finally we don’t skip the singing and dancing most stagings of Shakespeare cut out and add a bit of our TNT magic with what has come to be TNT’s signature opening and closing numbers. A dash of underscoring in just the right places changes a ho hum reciting of a passage to an epic staging of a classic.
Oh and we work hard. Very hard. All TNT cast members apply TNT’s PLAY THEORY helping them stay focused while looking outward, a great formula for changing the world for the better and getting to know the Bard.
The more you know, the more there is to love about the Bard and TNT knows their Bard. Besides competing for many years in the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s National High School competition, we’ve also adapted 6 of his plays and written an original play about his relativity to contemporary high school students called Passing the Bard, which we are producing again in January 2018.
We’ve performed for thousands of Shakespeare enthusiasts and garnered some serious awards. It’s always delightful to hear generous comments from either surprised first time attendees or the loyal fans who have come for years to enjoy the show.
Artistic Director, Take Note Troupe