Photo by Kelsey Thompson

May 18, 2011

Theater: A Shakespearean romp

Bard's Town Theatre presents 'Chasing Ophelia'

Chasing Ophelia
Directed by Scot Atkinson. Continues through May 21 at The Bard’s Town Theatre, 1801 Bardstown Road. For tickets or more information, call 749-5275 or go to

It’s a mystery, the relationship between writers and their fictional characters. And what we know of it is based exclusively on one-sided reports from writers — a notoriously unreliable group of folks, inasmuch as they devote much of their time to making stuff up. Some writers report their fictional characters are little more than puppets playing out a perfectly calculated string of planned events. Others claim their characters are willful, contrary creatures, quite capable of going their own way — often to the dismay and inconvenience of the author.

“Chasing Ophelia,” Doug Schutte’s delightful comedy, which opened last week as the inaugural production in The Bard’s Town Theatre (upstairs from The Bard’s Town bistro and pub, which opened last fall), offers a witty exploration of this latter view.

Ned (Ryan Watson) has recently sprung forth from the pen of a neglectful creator. So neglectful, in fact, that Ned knows next to nothing about himself — except that he’s the lone occupant of a barren, featureless apartment surrounded by a barren, featureless landscape.

In due course, the first pages of a script appear. Then a few other characters. There’s Joseph (Nadeem Zaman), a mentor and guide, and Joy (Beth Tantanella), a female ingénue who may or may not be Ned’s love interest. Unlike Ned, Joseph and Joy have been around — both, it seems, have played roles before, and Joy thinks she might be the creator’s old girlfriend, since she recalls populating previous plays.

If the creator had now stuck to business, some simple, predictable romantic narrative would doubtless have transpired. But it turns out that idle characters are dangerous critters indeed. When a pile of books shows up quite mysteriously in Ned’s apartment — a pile that includes the works of William Shakespeare — all hell breaks loose. Joy decides that regardless of the creator’s intent, she’s destined to be Ophelia and is off for Hamlet’s Denmark. Ned realizes he’s in love with Joy, and despite Joseph’s counsel, he sets off in pursuit.

What follows is a laugh-filled romp through Shakespeare’s world — and it turns out that Ned and Joy’s incursion ripples through the fabric of Elizabethan narrative, yielding a rich trove of humor that alters the course of Shakespeare’s best known comedies and tragedies, invokes the wit of Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” and makes room for a wildly funny invasion of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Directed by Scot Atkinson, with assistance from production liaison Gwen Edwards and props master Stephanie Adams, “Chasing Ophelia” is brisk, tightly scripted and confident. And it features some fine acting. Watson’s Ned is everyman’s everyman, a mild, slightly ineffective fellow with a toolbox and, in the end, the heart of a hero. Tantanella, showing fine range in multiple roles, is effective and charming whether portraying the inchoate ingénue or the bitchy Lady Macbeth. Zaman is superb as the mentor who counsels Ned to stick to his own humble script — even as he points the way to greatness. And the three other players — Doug Schutte, Jason Cooper and Tad Timberlake — who between them take on some 18 other roles, are a delight to watch, whether they’re storming the stage as a trio of pirates, bantering about language and death as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, or conspiring to assassinate Julius Caesar. 

Howdy Hi there would you

By medhat
Howdy Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask! العاب بنات تلبيس

Great post I would like to

By robert1122
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. Semenax

Nonton TV Bola Online di NOBARTV.COm

By beritaterbaru
Cara nonton tv bola gratis di acara Nonton Siaran Langsung Bola di NOBARTV , siaran langsung liga inggris pada acara Nonton TV Online siaran langsung Liga Inggris di NOBARTV, siaran langsung pertandingan liga lainnya pada acara Nonton Tv siaran langsung Bola di NOBARTV

I would like to thank you

By cq80xhm
I would like to thank you for your nicely written post, its informative and your writing style encouraged me to read it till end

This is a good post. This

By ronan1122
This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. LinkOpener

I just couldn't leave your

By carter1122
I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts. megashare

I am typically to blogging

By ronan1122
I am typically to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand new information. how to flirt with guys online

what might a teather must

By rini
what might a teather must exist that govern clearly so that was capable of delivering the best thing? just look at the product Asus zenfone Smartphone Android Terbaik . who is able to give the best for you. or if you need hosting then it needs to be here Indotophosting.Com Hosting Unlimited Dan Domain Murah Terbaik Di Indonesia to get the best promo.

i am for the first time

By carter1122
i am for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and help others such as you helped me. Visit Your URL

Most of the time I don’t

By carter1122
Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post! funny video ideas for facebook profile pictures

Excellent and very exciting

By carter1122
Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking. buy twitter followers real people

This is truly a great read

By robert1122
This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!. gifts for her

This was a really great

By ashleydanielle
This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself.. mediensucht jugendliche

Nice to read your article! I

By davidalan1122
Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.

Your music is amazing. You

By robert1122
Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.

Is it okay to post part of

By ashleydanielle
Is it okay to post part of this on my website basically post a hyperlink to this webpage? URL Opener

Excellent information on

By johnmak1122
Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists. créer un serveur minecraft

I am definitely enjoying

By johnmak1122
I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. facebook free credit report gov

All the contents you

By johnmak1122
All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks. what does bubblegum casting do

Superbly written article, if

By tbhgu
Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.. michael fiore online allure ebook reviews

What a fantabulous post this

By thscp1122
What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much. Your Domain Name

I really loved reading your

By stuartlittle1122
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well! seo nashville

Thanks a lot for sharing us

By stuartlittle1122
Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this.

Thanks for sharing nice

By stuartlittle1122
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.

Thanks for taking the time

By davidalan1122
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. bleaching cream skin

I am usually to blogging and

By zion1122
I am usually to blogging and i genuinely appreciate your content regularly. This content has truly peaks my interest. I will bookmark your web site and maintain checking achievable details. Embroidery Machine

it was a wonderful chance to

By robert1122
it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity.. isabel marant wedge sneakers

I read that Post and got it

By zane1122
I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that... cheap youtube views

Very nice article, I enjoyed

By robert1122
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!. find out if its right for you

Thanks for taking the time

By zane1122
Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. venus factor reviews

Im no expert, but I believe

By zane1122
Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that.

It is a nice piece, it is

By steveberlin
It is a nice piece, it is for sure a pleasure to see it

Wonderful illustrated

By ashleydanielle
Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! bow wow pet insurance


By rajaoui
YeSSS !! ,, Greatt !!! Thank you for this beautiful Artiicle friend Best flash games العاب تلبيس بنات