Inebriated Shakespeare: There's More than Music in Nashville
Walking into Marathon Village is always an experience. Between the hardwood floors, the refurbished car factory parts along the walls, and the expanding local shops popping up, it has a character all its own. Given the building’s strong history it made perfect sense that on my last visit I was there to see a historical play called “A Midsummers Night Dream” written by none other than the great man-of-the-words: Shakespeare. I arrived at about 10pm on Saturday, February 10th, and everything was quiet, save for a troupe of professional actors who waited outside of the local establishment called Third Coast Comedy Club.
I was there to watch “Inebriated Shakespeare.” Yes, It’s exactly what it sounds like. A group of professional actors act out an abridged version of a Shakespeare play...while the audience gets them wasted. Not only does the cast get drunk as the audience buy shots of rum for them, but there is also a drinking game for the spectators to follow along with in the program! It’s possibly the most offbeat experience I’ve had in Nashville in the four years I’ve lived here. I have been recommending it to everyone since I saw it back in January for the first time.
“Inebriated Shakespeare” was started by Angela Gimlin. She first got the idea to act while intoxicated where she played late-night shows at Music Valley Event Center. The first few inebriated shows went so well there that she expanded upon the idea and created the non-profit of “Inebriated Shakespeare” that is rapidly growing in popularity with each new season.
Before the show began on February 10th I had a chance to chat with the actors in the hallway and hear some of their stories. The actors in this troupe have all come from different backgrounds. Some have teaching and acting degrees, and others work in every aspect of the industry from writing and directing to costume design. They all expressed a love for one thing in particular though: making an audience laugh - and they’re good at it.
This season, the cast is acting out “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In case you are unfamiliar (as I was going in the first time):
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy about what happens when four naïve lovers and a small troupe of amateur actors traipse into the Athenian woods full of fairies and mischief.”
I’ve now seen it twice, and I can safely assure you that if my high school teachers had taught me Shakespeare in this way, I would have been a fan for life! The casts of “Inebriated Shakespeare” give Shakespeare a modern (and comedic) life that you won’t find anywhere else. When you go to see this play, you get a mixture of poetic Shakespearean language, modern-day slang, toilet humor, silliness, and crazy sex! (I mean, it’s not a porno by any means...but I wouldn’t recommend going with your grandma unless she’s super chill.)
You can catch “Inebriated Shakespeare” shows all around Nashville. They do sell out quite frequently so we recommend that you get your tickets in advance and bring cash to the show so you can purchase shots! To learn more about this local non-profit, follow them on Facebook and Instagram and check out their website. For a list of their upcoming shows( because you’re sold already), you can click HERE!