The Outfit Leads Shakes-Parody Workshop at Fordham University
The Outfit was contracted to work with an intimate group of ten undergraduate theater students at Fordham University over Spring Break 2013. The goal of week-long intensive was to empower and support students to create a Shakespeare parody of their own based on the premise of Jester’s Dead.
The week culminated in a performance of “Much-a-Dude” by and for Fordham students. The half hour show was written, directed and produced in a week and presented with a tenacious spirit of fun, fearlessness, and irreverence.
The spirit of letting Shakespeare live in a silly context continues to inform students approach to “straight” Shakespeare after the production. The context of reality TV gave these particular students a new insight to the universality of Shakespeare, and the tools to continue to play the balancing act between generating new ideas and being decisive about which direction to go in all endeavors as an artist.
Some of the concepts that emerged from the interdisciplinary mash up were detailed by students after their performance.
“I thought the workshop was incredibly successful and fun. I come from a huge Shakespeare background and to interpret his text in this way was both illuminating and creatively engaging. I loved the fly by the seat of your pants kind of nature of this work shop as it taught us to collaborate on the fly. It gave me a window into how a group creates original work which I thought invaluable. I don’t think I see a critique in it anywhere to be honest. Best of luck to you and your collaborators and thank you for sharing your talent and wisdom with us.” -Kyle Walton, Class of 2016
“I had such a blast working with you and your colleagues over spring break. The workshop allowed me to see Shakespeare in a new light and see that it is possible to approach his texts in a playful manner. I am in a production of Measure for Measure now and, like your show and the workshop, we are placing it in a more modern time. It fascinates me that the themes and problems in Shakespeare’s play are still applicable to society today. The workshop and the show that I’m in complimented each other nicely. Also, I was really amazed that we were able to work in such a large group to put together something we were all proud of. Collaboration is not always an easy thing, but the way the workshop was structured we were, for lack of a better word, forced to make decisions to make the most of the allotted time. I love to write, but I never really have done anything about it because I never thought I could write something substantial or interesting enough. This process helped me realize that it is possible, but it takes a good amount of time and commitment. Hearing how you guys started Jester’s Dead gave me hope for my future and helped me realize that when I graduate this May I cannot wait for something to fall in my lap and that it is achievable to create something for myself. Overall, I had a great experience and I am very thankful for the opportunity. The only thing I would change is the time constraint. I wish we had had more time, even a few more days, to get it on it’s feet. I don’t know if any of this is significant feedback. Thank you again and good luck with upcoming shows and workshops! Hope to work with you again in the future.” -Erin Reitz, Class of 2016
“I think the workshop went really well. For 9 hours of rehearsal I was shocked with the product we created. I think if I were to change one thing about it it would be to make sure there actually is time set aside to go through and smooth out little imperfections. For example, we only remembered the day of the performance that we hadn’t edited the fact that Gertrude and Ophelia weren’t mother and daughter. Because of this we had to do a slight improv on the spot which was handled well by us but I think it would have been better if we had had the time to at least cross out some lines. Really though, over all a wonderful process and surprisingly successful!” -Evan Sibley, Class of 2016
To inquire about bringing The Outfit to your university or organization, please email us.