I really like the idea that the Grassroots Shakespeare Company has of doing the plays close to the way it would have been in the Globe Theater back in Shakespeare's time. Here are some of their ideas that they talked about prior to presenting their production:
1. Sometimes the company only had a few days to put together the production in entirety.
They took only two weeks to prepare for their production.
2. There were no women actors, so men played men and women on stage.
They do have female actors, but men can play men and women, and women can play women and men. (Like an actress was the porter)
3. There were more parts than actors in most plays, so one actor would have multiple parts.
They each played at least two or three characters, and offset this with small costume changes, etc. (The king was killed, then he was a jester in the court, and then he was a soldier in the last scene)
4. There were little to no props/sets on the Globe Theater stage.
They likewise had very little props/set. (Some curtains, ladders, and a bench...some swords)
5. There was no director telling the actors what to do. They also had no director - just actors, musicians and two producers.
5. The audience played a major part in the production: the characters would especially interact with the groundlings, and the audience would boo for the bad guys and cheer for the good guys.
They were very good at interacting with the audience, and even sat in people's laps, came out from under the stage where the groundlings were, and talked to individual audience members. (Macbeth was so afraid of dead Banquo that he jumped into someone's lap)
Needless to say, this live performance was definitely different compared to when we saw The Winter's Tale!
Overall, it was a great production, and I would definitely go see them again. Plus, who doesn't want to watch a Shakespeare production with a castle as your backdrop?!