Regional Shakespeare

It’s a Groovy Kind of Bard | Shakespeare in Toronto

This is part of an ongoing series of regional Shakespeare coverage. It’s Lauren here this week with the latest in Shakespeare news from Toronto, and surrounding area… and by the looks of my latest lineup, if you’re in the GTA for the summer there’s plenty of Bardy-Goings-On for you to catch up with!

As always, CanadianStage presents Shakespeare in High Park. This is an opportunity for Shakespaere lovers to sit out of doors and watch some fantastic actors tread the boards out in the middle of Toronto’s beautiful High Park.

Credit: CanadianStage

Credit: CanadianStage

CanStage’s productions of Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar are directed by two recent graduates of the York University – Canadian Stage MFA program, Matjash Mrozewski and Estelle Shook. It’s a Roman summer for CanStage, and it can be for you too–pack yourselves a picnic, get your perfect seats and head on down to High Park for the 33rd year of CanStage’s Shakespeare performances under the stars.

Previews begin July 2/3, 2015. Tickets can either be reserved online or you can take your chances (and wait for the weather reports!) and PWYC at the door!

For a groovy twist this summer, why not check out Humber River Shakespeare Co.’s Falstaff & The Merry Wives of Windsor OR The Shakespearience Group’s Twelfth Night?

Credit: Humber River Shakespeare Co.

Credit: Humber River Shakespeare Co.

For their 8th summer touring season, Humber River Shakespeare Co. will be performing their production of Falstaff & The Merry Wives of Windsor. Beginning July 7/8, 2015 in Bolton, they’ll then be travelling through Schomberg, Aurora, Newmarket, Alton, Georgina, Mississauga, Kleinburg, Toronto, and Etobicoke. Their final 3 performances will be at their homesite, Montgomery’s Inn in Etobicoke.

Here’s a hint from Humber River on what you can expect when you book your tickets for Falstaff & The Merry Wives of Windsor:

“Hard up for cash, the unscrupulous Falstaff hatches up a crazy plan that can’t possibly backfire – to cuckold Windsor’s wealthy husbands and get his greedy paws on their money. However, the merry wives devise a scheme of their own to teach him a well-deserved lesson in Wooing 101.  Even with an ego as big as his voracious appetite, Falstaff’s silver tongue cannot prevent the payback to come. Set in the hip and “Far Out” world of the 1960s, and featuring puppets, music and some audience participation, this hilariously magnificent treat of artful deceit is not to be missed.”

You definitely don’t want to miss out on this “rowdy and hilarious comedy of love, marriage and trickery”–but gents, you’d better “hide all the women–Falstaff is in town!”

Credit: Humber River Shakespeare Co.

Credit: Humber River Shakespeare Co.

Once you’ve had a taste of Falstaff’s 60s, take a time warp forward: join The Shakespearience Group for Twelfth Night and a look into the 1970s, disco, peace, love, granola… oh, and a bit of cross-dressing. In 1970s Illyria, love is ALL around, just not always in the right places.

Credit: Danielle Wills, The Shakespearience Group

Credit: Danielle Wills, The Shakespearience Group

The Shakespearience Group is proud to present their first full-scale production. They have partnered with local community theatre group, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions Inc. and will be sharing their space for the summer. This year’s cast comprises both seasoned community theatre and professional veterans, as well as complete newbies.

The Shakespearience Group’s Twelfth Night is taking a hint from Shakespeare’s own use of popular song in his plays and reworking late 60s and early 70s folk/pop/rock music to the Bard’s lyrics. The performance promises to be rowdy and rambunctious, with a hint of genuine love and emotion, and that’s just Sir Toby Belch!

Credit: Lauren Shepherd, The Shakespearience Group

Credit: Lauren Shepherd, The Shakespearience Group

Come on down to Burlington for the 14th-16th of August this summer. The Shakespearience Group’s performances are one weekend only, with a “double” casting of both Youth and Adult casts. Tickets are available online.

Tune back in next week and get the low-down on seeing some Shakespeare at the Toronto Fringe Festival! This year boasts at least three Shakespearean productions, including a version of Hamlet entirely in puppet… that’ll be Shakey-Shake and Friends of course!

Credit: Shakey Shake and Friends

Credit: Shakey Shake and Friends

Lauren Shepherd

Author Lauren Shepherd

Lauren Shepherd is a current PhD Candidate at The University of Toronto's Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. She has studied at Shakespeare's Globe, and researched in the RSC archives. She has studied under the direction of renowned actors/directors/playwrights/voice masters such as Howard Barker (and The Wrestling School), Jane Lapotaire, Emma Thompson, Trevor Rawlins, Philip Bird, Philip Stafford, Glynn MacDonald, & Stewart Pearce while abroad, and taken Masterclasses from Gloria Mann, Chick Reid & Tom McCamus in Canada. Lauren's current research is in the performance and diagnosis of 'madness' on the early modern stage. Lauren recently co-founded a performance troupe that works with early modern and Shakespearean texts, as well as adaptations and modernizations. The Shakespearience Group's work is experimental, and rooted in creating experiences of Shakespeare (and other early modern playwrights) that audience members can share and explore. Their goal is to create engaging performances that tell stories, communicate needs, and facilitate new experiences as well as the remembrance of past experience; the idea of recalling memories and exploring those pathways. Their inaugural performance was grounded in Lauren's PhD research on madness, titled Fortune's Fools, and premiered at the 2014 Flounder Festival at Burlington Student Theatre Centre. For the summer of 2015 The Shakespearience Group is scheduled to perform Twelfth Night, as well as run both Summer Camp (for youth aged 10-16) and Masterclass (for those 16+) at Burlington's local community theatre, Drury Lane.

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