By SCOTT WEISSER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
This is not the same Dream.
“Chemical Imbalance” opens its three-day run Saturday in downtown Goshen. It’s the latest production by the GoShakes theatrical troupe, which got started in January of last year.
Part of the GoShakes’ mission is to re-imagine Shakespearean works for a modern audience. Sitting through plays of interminable length? Being required to read “Romeo and Juliet” in high school? GoShakes is aiming for a different type of audience experience with The Bard’s works — “basically bringing it from the head all the way down to the heart, the emotions,” said “Chemical Imbalance” director and actor Phil Weaver-Stoesz.
The latest GoShakes show is a case in point. “Chemical Imbalance” has Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as source material. Weaver-Stoesz is a fan of the “Dream” text, but feels the play has sort of an odd structure — a play and then another play at the end. What struck Weaver-Stoesz about “Dream” was the four lovers in the woods, and “Chemical Imbalance” focuses on those characters. Weaver-Stoesz has also toyed with the role of Puck, in this production an errant spirit in the woods who enjoys messing with people.
Some “Midsummer” elements have been removed in “Chemical Imbalance.” Some have been put into song.
“It’s Shakespeare-based, but I would not call it ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’” he said of the show.
In addition to Weaver-Stoesz, the other actors in the production include Anika Roth, Travis Cox and Lauren Treiber.
“Chemical Imbalance” will be performed at the newly-launched LaunchPad space at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, 234 S. Main St. The venue is in keeping with GoShakes’ practice of staging shows in nontraditional theater spaces.
Put aside notions of audience seating and theatrical stage — Weaver-Stoesz said actors and audience will exist in the same space during the “Imbalance” shows. Attendees may find themselves spoken to by in-character cast members.
If you want to go
“Chemical Imbalance” will be performed at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday at Launchpad. Tickets are available online at www.goshakes.org or at Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. The bookstore is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached by calling 574-534-1984.
The shows run for an hour. There will be no intermission. Some “Chemical Imbalance” material may not be suitable for young children.