"Location, location, location" may be the shibboleth of real estate mavens, but for theater it usually comes down to two choices: Broadway or Off-Broadway. Site-specific theater, which took a playful turn in the unruly experiments of the '60s, was an attempt to jettison expectations implicit in conventional stage architecture, no matter the zip code or seating capacity. Traditional venues were seen to exert a domesticating influence. Enter a theater building and you expect the art form to perform in a certain way. Set the theatrical event outside and something surprising has the potential to emerge. But, as the entire history of Shakespeare in the Park bears witness, locale more often than not upstages action. Even when freed from the straitjacket of the proscenium, drama requires discipline. The muse doesn't simply relax her standards in the open air. If anything, non-traditional place adds the tricky challenge of integrating a novel backdrop into a total... More >>>
By photo: Cary Conover
Alas, wet Yorick: Drowning Ophelia at "Swim Shorts"