(Eric Grode’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/19; via Pam Green.)
George Bernard Shaw’s 6-Hour ‘Beast’? She’s All In
A dancer turned director, Kimberley Rampersad is tackling “Man and Superman” at the Shaw Festival.
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO — “Sweets.”
In the space of less than an hour, these were just a few of the terms of endearment lobbed from the dimly lit seats of the Festival Theater, one of the three venues that make up the Shaw Festival campus.
Tech rehearsals — the millisecond-by-millisecond calibration of every lighting cue and sound effect — can sap the will of even the hardiest theater folk. But Kimberley Rampersad, the issuer of those kind words, wasn’t having it one recent afternoon. Not with the festival’s marquee event entrusted to her — on just her second time directing here.
A bronze statue of George Bernard Shaw may stand in the center of this bucolic town 20 miles north of Niagara Falls, but only two plays by the festival’s namesake are on offer in this year’s 11-play season.
Some would argue, however, that there are actually three Shaws in a 12-play season. Because one of the two — the one that Ms. Rampersad was overseeing — is the “glorious beast” (to use her phrase) known as “Man and Superman,” which took Shaw a decade to see mounted in its entirety. Ms. Rampersad had her work cut out for her.
Photo: Tara Walton for The New York Times