Author Archive for Kelby Siddons


AYLI is such a tease…

Teasers, round 1… look for them on the ground near you!


A Tale of Two (or many…) Texts

I’ve heard it said there is no subtext in Shakespeare; everyone means what they say because the language is all. To this person, I say, “Oh! I guess you haven’t encountered sarcasm yet? Allow me to introduce you…” Language is not always direct. Shakespeare’s characters are coy, sarcastic, and often in disguise, costumed or no. Fools delight in double-speak to incite laughter, traitors excel at deceit to create tragedy, lovers employ double entendre to pursue their desires.

Words are mutable, not only because of delivery, but because of the passage of time. Will the Kit Marlowe references in AYLI move you because of his recent death? I’m guessing not, but I’m not going to replace these lines with Michael Jackson quotes to attempt to align our audience response with that of Shakespeare’s original crowd. It’s just not possible. Some authorial intent is only recoverable by scholarship.

But that’s not to say I’m giving up on mining those archaic words and allusions for their original meaning. That’s the challenge and the beauty. We’re still wonderfully adaptive with our language, as evidenced by the new-found, widespread ability to “heart” things. Regardless how archaic or new a word may be, its meaning remains communicable. It’s about spying all the opportunities to convey meaning within, between, and off the lines. Continue reading ‘A Tale of Two (or many…) Texts’


heighten it!

In Shakespeare’s day, folks went to “hear” a play, not to see it. After all, the Globe had no lights or elaborate set pieces, limited costumes and special effects. We are in debt to these production limitations for necessitating such beautiful use of the English language. Even now, we could sit back and rely fully on the heightened language to engage the imagination and transport us to battlefields in France and ports in ancient Greece. That’s still the heart of it. But in an age when one goes to “see” a play, the heightened language, some of it archaic and lost to modern ear, can benefit from a heightened physicality and staging. Embracing the theatricality of a classical text increases clarity, energy, and engagement.

At least that’s my theory.

As such, in rehearsals so far this week, scripts have been on the tables only ever-so-briefly. Text has been pulled in to complete exercises that begin with breath and body, harnessing particular energies and actions to funnel into the words. With a cast of fifteen, the Fisk basement pulses with energy – a great first step on a journey to make the walls of the Louis Room hum, too.

Now we will put physical life and text in dialogue, ie, begin blocking. Very excited to get started…



Flashing lights

I love these shots because they’re sleek, cool, and dark yet bright. The combination of low saturation blues and neon pink is pure nightlife, courtlife.


The Court as Neo-Noir

Iconic images of film noir. I’ve been fortunate enough to take “Performance of Noir” with Paul Edwards this quarter, and it’s been very influential to how I approach the court world of As You Like It. As described in Shakespeare’s text and as a modern city, the court shares noir’s fixation with the urban decay (the court’s structure is said to be foul and “unnatural”) and duplicity (Touchstone the fool’s favorite quips are contradictions), with rich style (“fashion” is one of the most frequently used words in reference to the court) and moral bankruptcy (the betrayals of “unnatural brothers” Duke Frederick and Oliver). Continue reading ‘The Court as Neo-Noir’

Congratulations & thanks…

Question: This play is a romantic comedy. What makes you laugh? What has been known to make you swoon?


You made me laugh, you made me swoon, you made my decisions really tough. (A dreamy predicament to be in.) Sincere thanks to all who auditioned. If you’d like to be involved with the show, many helping hands are needed (including non-speaking musicians and an assistant director)! Email myself ( AND Rebecca (

Congratulations to the cast of As You Like It…!


Breakin’ It Down

Dear actors,

Pref sheets are due to StuCo on the 3rd floor of Norris by midnight Sunday!

Dilemma: StuCo asks that I break down the parts into lead / supporting / ensemble roles so that you are empowered to choose the creative experience that will most benefit you, which I totally believe in. The pref sheet will give you something like this to check off:

___ As You Like It

____ Lead

____ Supporting

____ Ensemble

But, I believe AYLI is an ensemble show, and breaking things down into lead-supporting-ensemble doesn’t really do it justice.

Solution: I’m breaking down the roles in AYLI practically… Continue reading ‘Breakin’ It Down’


See you at callbacks…!

Dear actors,
Thank you to everyone who auditioned, and congratulations to those who I’ll be seeing in callbacks. I’m excited to work with you! Questions you might have…

  • When’s my callback?
  • What will callbacks be like?
  • What part am I called back for?
  • What’s your take on AYLI?
  • What can an AYLI ensemble member expect from the process?

Continue reading ‘See you at callbacks…!’


A summary of the show…

The court. A glittering, slick, corrupt city, where the powerful take the low road in high fashion.

Duke Frederick has exiled Duke Senior to the Forest of Arden. Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is allowed to remain at court only for her dear cousin Celia’s sake. But once the fickle duke’s tolerance ebbs, Rosalind is exiled as well. She, Celia, and the fool Touchstone steal away to…

Oliver has denied his younger brother Orlando his inheritance and status as a gentleman after their father’s death. After a brash display of Orlando’s at a high-profile wrestling match, Oliver is set on his brother’s death. Orlando’s servant Adam forewarns him, and they escape to…

Arden. Continue reading ‘A summary of the show…’

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