Pull up a chair and listen to a tale involving drinking games and the most famous storyteller of them all: William Shakespeare.
“As You Drink It” was developed by Savannah’s new Legitimately Intoxicated Theatre Company and recently toured six bars around Savannah and Tybee Island.
“The show is a modern adaption of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It,’ told in about an hour,” said Steve Mazzoccone of LIT Co. “It retains a lot of the play’s original text but also has been updated to include modern jokes and references in a site-specific setting.
“The show involves audience participation, drinking games, improvisation and two actors of the company operating their characters under the influence. The fun had by all was extraordinary, immersive and contagious.”
“As You Drink It” played at Foxy Loxy, Ampersand, Chuck’s Bar, The Chromatic Dragon, Club One and The Sand Bar on Tybee.
“We conceived, developed and produced the show in only three weeks,” he said. “A crushing majority of the founding members are moving out of the Savannah area. Each bar offered something special to our show.”
With such an intoxicating adaption, LIT Co. took extra care with the show’s preparation.
“The company worked tirelessly to cut, adapt and update Shakespeare’s original text,” Mazzoccone said. “The rehearsal process of this show was unlike any other rehearsal any company member had been to. It required everyone to be a maverick theater artist and party planner at the same time. We tried to inject as much fun and nightlife culture into the show as possible.”
Although Shakespeare might not be everyone’s idea of an evening of fun around Savannah, Mazzoccone wants to help change that perception.
“We set out on a goal to reach audience members who maybe wouldn’t have been so interested in theater or Shakespeare and make it accessible. Shakespeare is so relevant and interesting to those who love it, it becomes such a gift to share that with an audience and help them to see how going to the theater or being part of an immersive theatrical experience can be just as entertaining as going to a movie.”
Mazzoccone said there were groups of people who came to multiple shows to see it change and root for different drunk actors.
“Every night after the show, we were met with people who were excited about what we were doing and wanted be a part of our company,” he said.
LIT Co. wants Shakespeare to be accessible to the audience.
“I say, ‘Have no fear!’ Sometimes people see Shakespeare on a poster and they think they won’t understand a majority of what is going on in the play,” Mazzoccone said.
“To be honest, I find that completely justified, given the introduction a lot of people have to Shakespeare or theater in high school and beyond. But we developed something special by holding close to what we all know is popular in Savannah — drinking and nightlife — and told a Shakespeare story through that lens ... Like Shakespeare beer googles, we were fooling people into being thoroughly entertained and delighted by Shakespeare’s language.”
The future is up in the air for the troupe, but Mazzoccone seems hopeful for more shows. It might depend on interest from new members to fill the void of those leaving.
“Will we have another show? We hope!” he says. “Theater is ephemeral and you have to catch it when you can.”
Keep up with the schedule and learn more about the troupe at www.facebook.com/thelitcompany.