GOSHEN — Take everything you think you know about William Shakespeare — and forget it.
GoShakes, an innovative Shakespearean theater troupe, is back in the spotlight with “Chemical Imbalance,” the group’s first production of 2014.
“GoShakes enjoys tinkering with Shakespeare’s traditional structures, so I went through and read some of my favorite parts of my favorite shows, and I realized that I’ve always been interested in the four lovers story in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’” said Phil Weaver-Stoesz, who leads the ensemble.
“Chemical Imbalance” extracts a single plot from one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated classics, weaving a complicated — and humorous — web of relationships and emotions. The production stars Weaver-Stoesz along with actors Anika Roth, Travis Cox and Lauren Treiber.
“Part of what I like to do is introduce a new way of looking at Shakespeare that is not high school Shakespeare or four-hour long tragedies,” Weaver-Stoesz said. “This is quick, in your face, action-oriented and un-ignorable.”
The play continues a tradition of GoShakes taking over unconventional spaces for performances. The group has put on productions at the downtown restaurant Kelly Jae’s Next Door, Better World Books, Ignition Music Garage and the historic Goshen Theater.
"Chemical Imbalance" allows the audience to connect with the play in a unique way by having the actors move in and around the performance space, Weaver-Stoesz said.
“In a way, it creates a more genuine illustration of how audiences would have been in the Elizabethan era,” he said. “They would not have sat politely in their seats and just watched. The performers would have been in and among the masses. To me, it heightens the performance because, as an audience member, you feel like something is happening right in front of you.”
Showtimes are set for 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30. The final show will be at 8 p.m. Monday, March 31. All shows will be downtown at LaunchPad, 234 S. Main St., on the second floor of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce.
Tickets are on sale for $15 at Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, or by calling 574-534-1984.
There is limited audience space available for each show. LaunchPad is not wheelchair accessible. Parental guidance is suggested for this show because of certain themes that may not be appropriate for young children.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.