Monday, January 29, 2007

Inspiring a collaborative spirit

By Catherine Foster, Boston Globe Staff January 29, 2007

CAMBRIDGE -- Bobbie Steinbach slips on a pair of kneepads and grouses, half-jesting, "I'm too old for this."

Then she joins a mass of growling actors on their knees, impersonating a single bear, who crawl as one toward their prey. The group, during a recent rehearsal at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center , is pursuing an ill-fated soul named Antigonus (played by Richard Snee ) in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale."

As the bear, the actors corner Snee, rearing up to hide his exit from view. Then they split up, and falling back down on their hands and knees, transform themselves into a flock of bleating sheep. Snee returns to the stage, now as their shepherd.

Curt L. Tofteland , director of the Actors' Shakespeare Project production that opened officially over the weekend, rocks back and forth on his feet as he assesses the scene.

"Any problems, sheep people?" he asks. "That was almost perfect, bear." [more]

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