Student, alumna play key roles in Shakespeare celebration
In a collective effort to distinguish Portland as a center of classical theatre, a current student and a recent Lewis & Clark alumna are helping nearly 20 of the city’s performance companies produce all of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, and histories—and many of his poems—over the course of two years.
Aptly titled the Complete Works Project, this series of productions is unprecedented. Never before in the United States has Shakespeare’s entire body of theatrical work been performed in such a short span of time, or as a collaboration by such a diverse array of companies.
Caitlin Fisher-Draeger BA ’12 and Erica Terpening-Romeo ’14 are two of four program coordinators, primarily responsible for promoting all featured productions, providing supplementary educational programming, and ensuring cohesion. Their cofounded theatre company, Anon It Moves, will contribute two productions to the project—Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale.
The Complete Works Project is an extension of Fisher-Draeger’s and Terpening-Romeo’s significant familiarity with the works of Shakespeare. The pair codirected Post5 Theatre’s summer 2012 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream—for which they both received Drammy Awards—and last summer, Anon It Moves opened its premiere season with Terpening-Romeo’s adaptation of Henry V. At Lewis & Clark, Terpening-Romeo has worked with Assistant Professor of English Jerry Harp to cowrite a book about the concept of ideal love in Romeo and Juliet.
Portlanders will derive obvious benefit from the Complete Works Project, which provides theatre goers with the rare opportunity to see performances of Shakespeare’s lesser-known works. But perhaps more important, the Complete Works project will celebrate Portland’s expansive and prolific theatre community.
“This is an opportunity for Portland theatre and all its scattered companies to pool their resources and see what they are capable of as a unified force,” Terpening-Romeo explained. “I think that this project will be a kind of time capsule. At the end of it, we will see what this particular community at this moment in time looks like, through the lens of a timeless and universal body of work.”
Katrina Staaf ’16 contributed to this story.