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Library performances challenge Oklahoma City's Reduxion Theatre Company actors

Reduxion Theatre Company's productions of “Much Ado About Northing” and “Sitting in With Clara” performed in Oklahoma City area libraries are staged with minimal costume changes, sets and lighting.
by Matt Patterson Published: March 21, 2012

/articleid/3659397/1/pictures/1673936">Photo - India Irish, left, and Romiah Dorris focus on two actors kissing in this scene from “Much Ado About Nothing.”
India Irish, left, and Romiah Dorris focus on two actors kissing in this scene from “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Interaction, response

The audience interacts with the actors as well. Nearby rooms are used for costume changes, and the ensemble performs its own music.

“These are very low-tech,” Woods said. “We use a lot of universal lighting, and almost every cast member plays multiple roles. Our belief is that Shakespeare should be able to be performed anywhere.”

There are some minor tweaks. This production of “Much Ado About Nothing” is set in 1963. Woods said that era is more recognizable to contemporary audiences. Reduxion also has staged productions of “Romeo and Juliet” set in 1950s Japan and “Hamlet” set in the 1930s.

It's also a family affair. Erin's husband, Tyler, acts and directs in the plays and like his wife has numerous theater credits. The couple met at University of Central Oklahoma when she visited the school's drama program while looking at colleges. Tyler Woods volunteered to give her a tour of the campus.

The plays have been a success for the library system. A play honoring the life of civil rights activist Clara Luper was well-attended in February.

“We've been doing these productions for years,” said Dana Morrow, Metropolitan Library System director of outreach services. “Audiences appreciate the intimate nature of the performance. If you go to a large theater you're likely to have seats so far back you may not be able to appreciate the performance as much.”

by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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If you go

There are three remaining performances of “Much Ado About Nothing,” including at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Edmond Library, 1 p.m. April 7 at Warr Acres Library and 1 p.m. April 21 at Ralph Ellison Library. For more information about Reduxion Theatre Company, go to reduxiontheatre.com.

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