Meet the women of Shakespeare
Ever Mainard and Alicia Queen in "Shakespeare's Female Women," a show featuring the Bard's female characters.
‘Shakespeare’s Female Women’
7:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 8-29
Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
(773) 598-4549; www.gorillatango.com
Updated: September 6, 2012 10:46AM
It’s easy to figure out who wrote the script and cast the roles for “Shakespeare’s Female Women” at Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre.
Alicia Queen plays the main character, who is embarking on a journey. Ever Mainard plays the 131 characters that she meets along the way.
Amazingly, the two entertainers are still friends.
Memphis native Queen and Mainard, who is from Temple, Tex., met at the coffee shop where they both work. They soon realized that they had compatible talents so they decided to embark on a joint project.
The monumental Shakespearean writing task Queen set for herself was “to try to get the essence of all of the different women into one short bit and also apply our sense of humor to it.”
Mainard agreed to be part of the project because, “I knew it was really silly to do and Alicia and I have such a fun time together.
“I don’t know anything about Shakespeare,” Mainard admitted, “so it was teaching me as well. I do a lot of stand-up; being in a play is something I haven’t done since high school.”
The two are convinced that the script will appeal to a wide range of tastes. “We wanted to have a play that people who didn’t understand Shakespeare would understand, and people who knew Shakespeare would get the inside jokes,” Mainard said.
The main character in “Shakespeare’s Female Women” is Volumnia, a minor character in “Coriolanus.” “Her quest is to become the most popular ‘female woman,’ ” Mainard said.
Mainard’s main character guides Volumnia on her search.
“She is taking me through the wilderness, showing me each different kind of woman that Volumnia could aspire to be like,” Queen said.
Mainard, who moved to Chicago three years ago, has already established an impressive comedy career here. She has performed in the Just for Laughs Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Chicago Sketch Fest, and Chicago Women’s Funny Festival. She also performs at the Beat Kitchen every Tuesday night, and is a member of Chicago Underground Comedy. Metromix/Redeye named Mainard one of the Top Seven Acts to Watch in 2012 and Chicago magazine listed her as one of the Top 100 Comics in Chicago.
Queen focused her studies on Shakespeare and Elizabethan history at Rhodes College in Memphis, graduating in 2010. She studied Commedia del’ arte in Italy for three months. Since arriving in Chicago, she has performed at Gorilla Tango and in an all-female version of “Reservoir Dogs” with Roundhouse Theatre Company. Lately, though, she has been focusing all her creative energy on fine-tuning the script for “Shakespeare’s Female Women.”
Although Queen and Mainard have all the speaking parts in this world premiere, they’re joined onstage by professional flautist Steven Haschke. “He is a hunky looking dude and he’s going to perform with a cape on,” Mainard said.
You guessed it. He’s a fellow barista.~.