On Playing Shakespeare with George Mount

Shakespeare has been a companion for George Mount for most of his adult life. Whether as an actor, a director, or a producer, George has spent a lot of time thinking about Shakespeare’s plays and how to best approach them. He’s had the fortune to play many of the roles he always wanted to play, and the gift of discovering himself in parts he never ever considered. I mean, what guy actually thinks he’ll get to play both Kate in “The Taming of the Shrew” and Prince Hamlet. Turn on the sound and find out what George has to say about performing Shakespeare.

 On Playing Shakespeare with George Mount

“I find with Shakespeare, more than any other playwright’s work, is the demand on the artist. The material itself is such a pinnacle of greatness that it demands of the artists, who are essentially collaborating with Shakespeare on the play, to be firing on all cylinders and be at the top of their game in order to even approach being able to be in that realm. It demands of the actor all of the resources that we have at our disposal to be working at the peak of prowess.

The mind needs to be incredibly active to unravel the thoughts and the complexities of the characters and the subtleties of the words and the meaning. The articulators need be working at the top of their game in order to get those words out. Physically, you’ve got to be as healthy as you can for the rigors of that thought breath communication, for the marathon of work of going from Act 1 Scene 1 to Act 5…it demands of an actor with the sword fighting, with the physical comedy, with the complex stage pictures. So everything that an actor has in his tool kit, in his resources, is used to its peak in doing a Shakespeare play and creating those characters.

Also, creatively, the imagination has to be at its height in order to create a unique character that can inhabit the world of Shakespeare. I think of it, sometimes, like a…I’m a fan of Bob Dylan’s work, and while I think that no one interprets Bob Dylan better than Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan is a frequently covered musician because his song writing is some of best lyrics there are. And for someone, I would imagine, that doing Shakespeare is, for an actor, what covering a Bob Dylan song is for a musician. You’ve got to be at your peak and at your best at all times to just even be in the same realm with that kind of genius and brilliance. And it will demand of you all of what you have and you’ll discover that you can always go further and you’ll get surprised at far you even went doing a Shakespeare play.”

That Backwoods Spirit

2bar MoonshineWhite lightning, mountain dew, hooch,Tennessee white whiskey. We’re talking Moonshine. Yeah, it was made famous by Snuffy Smith comic strips as well as countless stereotypes of hillbillies, but did you know that we have a local distiller who makes moonshine just minutes from downtown?

Seattle Shakespeare Company is partnering with 2Bar Spirits in SODO for the signature cocktail for The Taming of the Shrew. We’re calling it Sucker Punch, and you’ve gotta try it if you’ve never tasted moonshine before.

So just what exactly is moonshine, anyway?

Usually moonshine refers to any form of illegally distilled or homemade alcohol. There can be all kinds of variations depending on the maker and the region where the moonshine was made. It got its name because it was normally distilled at night “by the light of the moon.”

2Bar’s moonshine is made with corn grown in Washington. The process to make it is similar to distilling spirits to make whisky. Moonshine isn’t aged like whisky, therefore it is colorless. Our production of The Taming of the Shrew seemed like the perfect to introduce folks to this much maligned spirit.

2Bar Spirits is one of the few distilleries making moonshine in the country. They also craft a mighty fine vodka, as well. Distiller Nathan Kaiser named the company after the family’s ranch in South Texas. You can visit their operation and tasting room to pick up a bottle or take a tour of the facility