By: Addison Wylie
I’ve always seen a bright future for actor James Evans. James and I attended the same high school and we were fortunate to take part in a few stage productions together. He’s a really sharp and talented guy who – to my memory – does a spot-on Don Knotts.
Where James and I differ is with Shakespeare. I’ve always had a difficult time grasping onto William Shakespeare’s writing. Evans not only understands the work, but cherishes it and uses it to forward his aspirations.
The classic writing has inspired him to make DIY Shakespeare, a studio that is “dedicated to bringing key works of Shakespeare to the screen in a short film format”.
The five episode anthology Evans is creating hopes to capture different forms of love that Shakespeare has made so memorable. I’ll let James’ Kickstarter campaign take it from here:
Each 25-minute “ACT” is a completely unique short film that offers a kaleidoscopic exploration of love in Shakespeare’s universe by adapting choice scenes from different works.
• Act 1: ANNE’S CURSE (Richard III)
• Act 2: KATED (The Taming of the Shrew)
• Act 3: RUDE MECHANICALS (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
• Act 4: SUGARED (Shakespeare’s personal sonnets)
• Act 5: THESE TWO FOES (Romeo and Juliet)
This campaign is seeking your funding support to complete the next two ACTS – KATED, and RUDE MECHANICALS. With your support, the next two ACTS will be in back-to-back production beginning in May of 2014.
KATED and RUDE MECHANICALS will feature the same troupe of actors in two completely different film adaptations. While Anne’s Curse is a single uninterrupted scene from one of Shakespeare’s history plays, KATED is a gender-bending farce and RUDE MECHANICALS is a “behind the scenes documentary” of a play-within-a-play.
Need more convincing? Anne’s Curse is available to watch for free on the company’s YouTube channel and gives patrons a good idea of what to expect from Evans’ artistic vision.
My Two Cents:
If I was someone who had no idea who James Evans was and had no interest in William Shakespeare and I watched Anne’s Curse, I would still be sold.
DIY Shakespeare shows a passion for the classic work, while also setting its production values into high gear. Anne’s Curse doesn’t come across as an experimental piece of work or an undercooked short from a couple of students farting around. Its presentation is professional and Evans offers a special individualized take on what the beloved playwright created.
I’m a dullard when it comes to William Shakespeare, but with the help of Evans and his production company, this slice of Richard III was comprehendible, gorgeous and well acted to boot.
With the campaign’s deadline approaching in less than 30 days, it doesn’t give the company a heck of a lot of time to accumulate funds. I sure hope James is able to raise the money he needs.
I eagerly await the next chapters in this anthology. All the best with the campaign, DIY Shakespeare!
All italicized statements regarding DIY Shakespeare are provided from their respected crowdfunding sources. Wylie Writes is not responsible for funds attached to these productions and we do not hold any accountability.
This project is that of the filmmaker’s. Use your own discretion.