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  • indyshakesTheater moves us. From William Elsman (pictured left with Lester Purry in The Tempest): "I have fallen in love with theater many times. A big head over heals moment occurred in Edinburgh in 1998. I was watching a Dresden clown troupe called Derevo perform a piece called 'Once.' It was the story of a sad clown and his pathetic attempts to woo a beautiful woman. The audience was at one moment in stitches, at another full of pity for the poor wretch. In one dazzling display of stage magic, the clown witnessed the kidnapping of his love by an evil clown, and in a flash of smoke and an explosion of light, he literally transformed before our eyes into a sword swinging hero. It came from out of nowhere. I, like the rest of the audience, was in complete awe. A battle commenced between the clown/warrior and a giant metal monster on wheels, and before long, he vanquished the foe. Then, all faded back to normal, and it was revealed to be a dream. The heartbreaking reality that he would never be with this woman, except in his dreams, left a powerful mark on my 21 year old, struggling romantic self. The piece explored, in a style that was at one moment a pageant of high spectacle and at another a blast of heart wrenching authenticity, how broken hearts are keenly felt by humanity. At the end of the show, the cast popped a champagne bottle, filled glasses, and were showered in streamers and glitter as the strains of "Love Hurts," by Nazareth, filled the air. It was a transcendent piece of art, and a memory that will live with me for the rest of my life. "

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