Interact Theater’s incomparable ensemble ignites the stage with What Fools These Mortals Be. Master playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling heads up the cast for an unforgettable evening of theater, humor, music, and over-the-top foolishness accompanied by original music and stage direction by Ivey Award-winning composer Aaron Gabriel.
Interact Theater takes on Shakespeare as they celebrate Interact’s 20th Anniversary – and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – with Kevin Kling playing the Bard himself. What Fools These Mortals Be is a mash-up of Shakespeare’s most iconic scenes, with Shakespeare’s fool characters front and center of the action.
Interact has been exploring the role of “the fool” in history, literature, and theater for the past three years. Court jesters, pranksters, royalty’s favored whisperers – throughout history these fools have spoken the truth through humor and innuendo. Today we know that many of these fools had disabilities and their differences marginalized them, but they never allowed their differences to hinder them. Instead, their perspectives gave them a clear vantage point from which they could illuminate human behavior and even change the course of history.
What’s the show about?
It’s 1589 and Queen Elizabeth I has been given bad intelligence by her courtly advisor who overheard “strange sisters” in a dark wood, the advisor reports that a plot has been hatched to perpetrate royal murder most foul and conveniences the Queen that the crime will be committed by her courtly troupe of fools.
As a preemptive measure, Queen Elizabeth I decrees all fools be rounded up and executed. The fools see no other choice other than to exile themselves to the New World. The troupe decides their only way to return home and regain the Queen’s favor is to create the greatest play ever written. The future of England, the Monarchy, and foolishness itself rests in their command performance and in the pen of a new playwright named William Shakespeare.
What Fools These Mortals Be is a critical case of Fellini-meets-the-Bard performed with Interact’s take-no-prisoners style of humor and heart – shedding light on another layer of Shakespeare’s creative genius.