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Tim Robbins directs William Shakespeare play

July 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tim Robbins is an Oscar winner and a theater lover. Thirty-two years ago, he became one of the founders of The Actors' Gang. He's back in the director's chair for the gang's latest project: a workshop production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is one of Robbins' favorite Shakespeare plays. He's directing this version for the Actors' Gang without any major costumes, props or scenery.

"Well, what we wanted to do, we wanted to try to do this play with 12 to 14 actors, and usually when it's done, you need 20 to 25," said Robbins. "We wanted to do it without scenery and we wanted to do it so that it was the imagination of those 12 to 14 actors that kind of propelled it. It's kind of a unique way to approach it."

The Actors' Gang is all about celebrating creativity and bringing new life to the classics. But it takes more than passionate performers to keep this non-profit theatre running.

"We do need support. It's a nonprofit organization. We try to bring the highest quality theatre to our community and we do so with actors that are not getting paid very much," said Robbins.

There are signs everywhere around the theatre letting people know when they can see the play: Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with Tim Robbins directing. He's also seen as part of the live music during the show.

"I play percussion," said Robbins.

In his film life, Tim got an Oscar nomination directing "Dead Man Walking." As an actor, "The Shawshank Redemption" got him plenty of notice, and he won the supporting actor Oscar for "Mystic River."

But The Actors' Gang has given him three decades of rewarding theatre.

"Thirty-two years is a blessing for me, because it's given me 32 years of growth as a director, and a writer, and an actor, 32 years of friendships and 32 years of incredibly rewarding experiences, not only on stage but off stage as well," said Robbins.


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