Here's the thing to know about Gorilla Rep's approach to Shakespeare: you might call it The Bard Bared. It's pushing sweet William's words and meanings into a present he would, in my opinion, highly approve of, and in fact regard necessary to the understanding of his works. GR melts away the amber and brings his creations before you with a genuine pulse, never doing violence to the essence of the piece, while all the same breathing life and fire into into the stuff that too many people THINK is simply too "stuffy" for them.
For years now, the name Gorilla Rep has been synonymous with quality theater in NYC. Whether it's Shakespeare or the work of another celebrated playwright, director Christopher Carter Sanderson knows how to engage his audience and make them feel like they are participating in the dramatic experience. A performance of "Hamlet" up at the Cloisters particularly stands out for its sense of atmosphere and keen understanding of the text. Gorilla Rep also has a strong eye for discovering upcoming acting talent.
Gorilla Rep's Julius Caesar in Fort Tryon Park was a wonderfully involving production, bringing to life the real people behind the words.
Love the wonderful spirit that Gorrilla Rep. embraces! The talented troupe of players manages to make magic where ever they stop to perform. It's such fun to encounter these nomads of the stage so I highly recommend that if you happen upon them in the park, STOP AND WATCH!! You will have a wonderful and unique theater experience, guaranteed!
I can still recall seeing Gorilla Rep´s "A Midsummer Night´s Dream" one summer in New York in 1993. The actors´ physicality coupled with the words of Shakespeare were not the only reasons why this (free) show in Washington Square Park was so enjoyable. It also was the sense from the actors and the director, Chris Sanderson, that this company were engaged with something primal, magical, mysterious. What a delight, experiencing theater practiced by men and women who hold this to be a key principle! And they are still going strong, nearly 20 years later, providing free Shakespeare (and new works) to audiences throughout the 5 boroughs of New York.
I have both worked with and been a fan of Gorilla Rep for ten years.
The combination of high-quality theater with such a level of reaching out to the community around them is really impressive.
Their shows are the only place I have seen older people, children, rich people, and homeless people all laughing at the same jokes and being moved by the same moments. That in and of itself is enough to make Gorilla Rep worthwhile- the fact that the theater itself is also of the absolute highest quality makes them truly unique!
I was lucky enough to be part of the casts of Gorilla Rep's free outdoor productions of "Hamlet" in 2008 and "Peer Gynt" in 2009. The "Gorilla" aesthetic is exciting, engaging and engrossing, and the sense of camaraderie and a shared mission pulses through every performance. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with this company and I look forward to future collaborations -- including 2011's tremendously exciting summer staging of "Macbeth."
Gorila Rep is an amazing theater company that creates magic with their amazing performances.
All sorts of people see these performances. I have even witnessed. Rich, homeless adults, children, old-this makes Gorilla Rep. a unique theater company that moves people with all kinds of backgrounds in their distinctive and beautiful way.
Gorilla Rep's alfresco style and stunning wit is not to be missed! Extraordinary talents bring great theater alive fulfilling the company's mission "to provide the highest quality productions of classical dramatic material with the flavor of contemporary immediacy to people where they are for free".
On about my 3rd day living in NYC on my way to a freshman orientation actvity at NYU, I accidentally stumbled upon Gorilla Rep's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Washington Sq Park. I was immediately enthralled and my mind was blown. I had only seen theatre on proscenium stages before and here were actors running across the park, acting on the jungle gymn, playing directly with an audience clamoring around them on all sides, lit by flashlights and forcing the audience to chase them around from place to place. It was pure magic. I never made it to the orientation activity. FurthermoreI entered my acting trainning at NYU the next week with a lot of preconceptions newly DROPPED about what theatre was supposed to be. The rules had completely changed in a most exciting way.
I am a company member of Gorilla Rep. I had the honor of performing in two of Gorilla Rep's plays in 2009, and it was a positive, challenging experience. I learned a lot about classical theater, outdoor performance and coming through in a crunch. I've also had the opportunity to watch several other Gorilla Rep shows, and I've enjoyed them very much. I'm looking forward to participating in the next Gorilla Rep show, either as an actor or as an audience member.
For almost 20 years Gorilla Rep's magical, always engaging productions have been a focal point of my summers, and in the time when I volunteered with the company, an inspiration to my whole life. I treasure every memory, from the company's early productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear down in Washington Square Park ranging to Julius Caesar and Hamlet at Fort Tryon. I've heard rumors about Gorilla Rep presenting the entire canon of Shakespeare . . . . a longtime dream. I'll be there for every show when it happens. The people who make up Gorilla Rep are real Urban Warriors.
I am a long time ensemble member of Gorilla Rep. Being in their shows has been one of the highlights of my career. I highly recommend the company to everyone.
- Mark Greenfield
Artistic Director of the Faux-Real Theatre Company
I happened to stumble across Gorilla Rep's unabridged production of Hamlet in Fort Tryon park a few summers ago, just when I'd moved to the city, and whoo-ee, I felt like it shook up every version I'd seen. The performances were all strong, but I guess the strongest impression I had was that the whole company was really up to something, together. When I've paid a pretty penny to see live shows since then, I've often marveled at how fortunate I was to have caught such fine theatre, offered up to the atmosphere.
The Gorilla Rep is one of the best things about living in New York. I've seen many productions of a Midsummer's Night Dream, some with world class actos, but none connects with me like the Gorilla Rep. Whey they perform Shakespeare they aren't dusting off a museum piece. It is living theater. The comedies are funny. You laugh out loud. They don't try to transform the play. They are true to the original. They just do it in a way that shakes the cobwebs off it. I always make sure to take new people to see their shows because they are a revelation.
I am a great fan of Gorilla Repertory Theater. One of my earliest and fondest memories was watching As You Like It at Washington Square Park. It was so much fun to run around the park to each scene as if the audience was eaves dropping on these people's stories.