Maryland Shakespeare Festival Bares All and Exposes You to Shakespeare
Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s Bare Bard Rep: Three Plays in Three Weeks
Bare Bard Repertory: Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and Merchant of Venice
06/07/2013-06/23/2013–Goucher College, Baltimore Maryland
Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s actors will deliberately “expose” themselves in their upcoming Bare Bard Repertory, and they invite audiences to come see them at their most vulnerable. From June 7 through June 23, 2013, Maryland Shakespeare Festival will stage its Bare Bard Repertory, an offering of three Shakespeare plays presented in rotation: Comedy of Errors, Richard III, and The Merchant of Venice. Performances will be at Goucher College in the Meyerhoff Arts Center, on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. After all Sunday performances, audiences are encouraged to stay for a talk-back with the cast.
Maryland Shakespeare Festival actors will tackle this ambitious trio of plays with only three days of rehearsal for each play. This would normally be an actor’s worst nightmare, but not for the MSF actors, who thrive on the adrenaline rush of performing “without a net.”
Highly improvisational and interactive, Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s Bare Bard Repertory borrows production techniques from the original practices of Shakespeare’s own acting companies. The actors learn their lines for each show in advance, get together briefly to choreograph dances, stage fights, work out physical comedy, and run lines. Then the actors jump on stage and perform for a live audience without any pre-established staging. “The pitfall of a well-rehearsed play is that actors fall back on doing what they have done before, like parrots,” says company member Stephen Lorne Williams. “In a Bare Bard production, we use that edge of danger to bring the story to life.”
MSF’s actors have been performing and training together in the Bare Bard style for six years. This makes MSF uniquely qualified to produce such an ambitious rep, and it also brings a depth to the work and an understanding of the language to its audiences .The actors also engage the audience with direct eye contact, questions, and sometimes an invitation to join in a dance or enter a crowd scene.
One long time MSF audience member said, “If you like Shakespeare, you should see a Bare Bard. If you don’t like Shakespeare, you NEED to see a Bare Bard. It will change your mind. The plays come to life and you feel like you’re inside them with the actors.”
Tickets are $22 for regular admission and $18 for students and seniors. Click here to purchase tickets.