February 24, 2011

In Acting Shakespeare


The Indiana Repertory Theatre has brought back the Going Solo Festival for a second year. The festival consists of three separate one-man shows, each about 2 hours, with an intermission, and focusing on wildly differing topics. The three shows are all offered simultaneously on the IRT’s upperstage, where the set is designed with a versatile sweeping wooden floor to accommodate the trio of plays.

In Acting Shakespeare, one of the shows, stars James DeVita, who wrote the show as a tribute to Sir Ian McKellen’s show, Acting Shakespeare. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the playwright performing Shakespeare’s work at his home theatre in Wisconsin and was thrilled to have the opportunity to see him perform his own work at the IRT.



Acting was a completely foreign concept to DeVita as he grew up in Long Island. He became a fisherman and fell into a career on the stage through a string of coincidences and lots of hard work. During a class trip to New York he saw McKellen perform his show and sat in awe of the veteran performer. As DeVita describes falling in love with the acting, we fall in love with it along side him.

DeVita has a casual, intimate candor which immediately puts the audience at ease. His self-deprecating humor pairs beautifully with booming monologues from Shakespeare’s work. He sprinkles lines from the Bard into the telling of his own personal history, making it both touching and funny. He makes speeches from Jaws and Henry V equally enthralling.


He’s able to slip in and out of a slew of plays, letting the characters flow through him as he switches back and forth between his own story and Shakespeare’s journey to success. Though there are blind spots in the Bard’s history, there are some concrete facts which
DeVita ponders.

Although this show is an absolute delight for lovers of the Bard, it’s really perfect for audience members of every age. Regardless of your personal dreams in life, we can all relate to the struggle to achieve your goal.

Don't Miss the Show

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is located at 140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, one-half block west of the Circle Center Mall between northbound Illinois St. and southbound Capitol Ave. "In Acting Shakespeare" runs until Sunday, March 13 on IRT's Main Stage. Times for performances can be found at www.irtlive.com or by calling the IRT box office at (317) 635-5252. To purchase tickets call (317) 635-5252 or order online at www.irtlive.com

For more information about the American Players Theatre's upcoming season, featuring James DeVita visit their website here.

Photos Courtesy of the Indiana Repertory Theatre

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