Message from Jeff Watkins: Letter for the 2005-2006 Season

2005-06 Letter

Few things in life are as satisfying as actually building something. I know because for months now I've been working with architects and designers on the new façade for the Shakespeare Tavern. One of my jobs has been to dig through eighty years worth of land surveys, property descriptions, deeds and exhibits.

It's remarkable how often I come across the phrase "To find the true point of beginning…" Of course from the surveyor's viewpoint, he just needs a place to start so his measurements mean something.

But as I think of it, that's true for a lot of things in life.

For example, here at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, our true point of beginning is the life and times of William Shakespeare himself. After all, the Elizabethan Age in England was every bit as great a cultural awakening as the Italian Renaissance.

Witness the Great Chain of Being, the Divine Right of Kings, the Cosmic Dance and the freedom of expression that can exist only in the presence of exceptional prosperity and gifted political leadership. Each of these informed the very fiber of Shakespeare's work. And at the New American Shakespeare Tavern, they are what we take as our "true point of beginning."

We call it "Original Practice" and it works.

In fact, one of the hallmarks of seeing a play at the Shakespeare Tavern is that no matter who you are . . . you "get it". Whether you're here to see your first-ever play by Shakespeare or you're seeing your favorite play for the fifth time; whether you hold a PhD in Renaissance Literature or whether or you came for the beer; I guarantee you're going to "get it" . . . the story, the characters, the humor, the genius, and the poetry.

What's more, it's FUN! Ask any actor who's played the Tavern. We've got the best audiences in town.

The Shakespeare Tavern experience is absolutely unique. The food is terrific, we've got a huge selection of premium ales, and everything about the Shakespeare Tavern was designed with one thing in mind: the communion of actor and audience through poetry.

You might say it's our Mission in life.

So come to the New American Shakespeare Tavern: the southeast's only Original Practice Playhouse®. Think of us as your "true point of beginning . . ." and together, we'll explore a World of Great Theater.

Very Truly Yours,

Jeff Watkins
Artistic Director, ASC

Letters from Jeff