So ends another show…
Working on Comedy of Errors for Theatre Downtown was an extremely fulfilling experience made only better by the fact that I remember I wasn't going to audition at all.
Lauren and I were touring the Magic City Art Connection in Birmingham when I spotted the Theatre Downtown booth. Seated within that booth was Josh Roberts, my eventual director. He says to me “Are you coming to auditions tonight? It will be a lot of fun.” Of course I nodded yes, but inside I wasn't so sure.
In my mild level of stage experience, I had never had the pleasure of doing Shakespeare (unless you count my high school production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare). Worse yet, I couldn't fathom scoring a part in a show like that at Theatre Downtown. I told Josh I’d think about it and hopefully see him there.
I have to thank Lauren for the vote of confidence. She told me I should go for it and that I would likely regret it if I skipped. As usual, she was right.
But, on the way to auditions…
A monsoon for the likes Birmingham had never seen nor had any right to see swept the town. My Ford Explorer, I feel on its last legs, struggled to get to 5th avenue antiques and I almost hydroplaned no less than two times. But, I made it and got my first (co)-leading role as the Antipholus twins in what ended up being a fantastic piece of theatre.
Paired with the wonderful Tony Lovell (Dromio) as my partner in Crime; Michelle Griffo (Adriana) as my angry, ANGRY wife, and a top-notch ensemble that included David Edward Perry (Doctor Pinch/Goldsmith); Ricky Umstead (Merchant); Jennifer Lee (Luciana); Terry Hermes (Aegeon); Tonya Marshall (Emilia); Shelby Scott Harris (Luce); Nester JAenz (Duke); Gabrielle Metz (Courtesan); and Thomas McCarron (Balthasar), we killed it.
While there was a lot of kicking and screaming along the rehearsal process, we pulled together a strong show that entertained audiences (many brought to tears of joy) for three weekends.
I will miss the journey I went on with the Antipholus twins. It’ll be tough to find my next character to fill that void.
(All photos taken by Steven Ross Photography)
Thomas William Shaw is an author and stage actor from Birmingham, AL. He lives with his wife, Lauren, their children, and their cats in a quiet place. Occasionally he will post about it.