There are a number of companies in Atlanta dedicated to presenting the works of William Shakespeare. And whether they’re staying true to the Elizabethan time period or setting the plays in modern times, they all prioritize the text and staying true to Shakespeare’s words.
However, there is one Shakespeare company which has decided to jettison all of that. The Unscripted Shakespeare Ensemble improvises entire plays in the style of the Bard, but without the bother of learning all those lines.
“The essence that remains of Shakespeare is the human condition,” Amanda Rountree tells “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes, “and the type of language that he used, with wordplay and poetry. There’s nothing that goes along better than an improviser and puns, so it’s almost a natural fit.”
Rountree is the group’s founder and director. She says she has led the performers through extensive rehearsals in order to get used to the language. They also have the general formula of a Shakespeare play on their side as well.
“Shakespeare does have a lot of tropes and does write in some predictable ways, because we are so familiar with his plays,” she says. “As long as we are in the world of Shakespeare then we’re okay.”
Unscripted’s next performance takes place in the Auditorium of the Decatur Library, Wednesday April 24 at 7 p.m.