By BRUCE COLLIER
Last Sunday’s bad weather did not deter a a near capacity crowd from attending No Limits Theatre Company’s performance of Fire Burn! this past Sunday. The show was staged at The Arc of Walton County, just north of DeFuniak Springs. The Arc recently made the space available to No Limits, and the actors and technicians lost no time in making it into a theater. It’s bare bones, with sound effects and lights in full view, but ideally suited to the kind of theatre-of-the-mind that William Shakespeare wrote.
The play is a collage of scenes, some short, some extended, from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and The Tempest, with a sonnet and an excerpt from Carl Sandburg thrown in. The actors all played a variety of parts, and provided live sound effects, scene shifts, and special effects. For most of the hour-long performance, the actors not on stage stood along the walls, assisting their fellow actors, dressing them, carrying props and shifting scenes.
The audience’s focus was always on stage. Director Nancy Hasty kept the action swift and the pace steady between scenes, which transitioned smoothly from Scottish heaths to Verona streets to Egyptian throne room to Elsinore Castle, followed by Athens, Padua and the Forest of Arden. Ann Robinson, in full fig and red wig as Queen Elizabeth I, presided over it all. It was intense, good humored and gracefully executed.
The audience was invited to a post-show Q&A with the company. The spectators expressed pleasure, joy and satisfaction. One family member said, “I just thank God for this day. You all are a blessing.” Another called it “a miracle.” Walton High School Principal Russell Hughes said, “I see several of my former students. We are so proud of you.” A pastor from the Gainesville area said, “You showed us love by what you accomplished. Don’t stop.”
The company has received several invitations to travel and perform in other cities. A May 20 performance at Seaside’s Ruskin Place is scheduled.
The company invited attendees to a buffet of sweets and savories. One actress said she was tired but happy. “I need a nap.” All seemed to be basking in the natural high that comes from a job well done.
By BRUCE COLLIER