PerformanceRegional Shakespeare

Loving the Bard: Valentine’s Edition | Shakespeare in Toronto

By February 13, 2015 No Comments

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. It seems as if everyone is gearing up for Valentine’s Day… and who’d blame them!!!

I’ve got some great Valentine’s surprises to share with you this week–hopefully just in time, in case you’ve missed the boat on getting your loved one something special!

Well, why not say it with Shakespeare?!

That’s exactly what recently featured company WatersEdge Theatre Collective have decided to do for you and your loved one this Valentine’s! To help promote their production of Gingers in Love: A New Folk Musical, which just happens to be a modern adapted creation with ties to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, and Romeo & Juliet to name a few, WatersEdge Theatre Collective will help you shower love on your special someone by personalizing a sonnet for you (or perhaps even writing one in the style of the Bard), which they’ll then send on to your loved one on your behalf!

Photo Credit: Stefan Kuchar, WatersEdge Theatre Collective.

Photo Credit: Stefan Kuchar, WatersEdge Theatre Collective.

Yes, that’s right! All you have to do is donate, and they’ll do all the wooing for you… just like Shakespeare. Fancy that! Their Valentine’s Day Sonnet special is only $10, so if you’re on a budget, think GINGER this Valentine’s and head on over to their Indiegogo fundraiser and get your rhyme-scheme on!

Oh, but we’re not done yet folks! Even more unique is Shakespeare in Action’s Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids! That’s right, you could “give the gift of poetry to your loved one” and give the gift of Shakespeare to some amazing 7-12 year olds! Unfortunately, they have just posted that they are officially SOLD OUT for 2015–which is awesome for them, perhaps unlucky for us. In any case, here’s some information on what they did in case you’d like to keep it on file for next year!!!

“Together, Shakespeare in Action’s Artistic Director, Michael Kelly, and Education team will gather outstanding children aged 7-12, to learn and recite some of Shakespeare’s beloved sonnets.What better gift to give the one you love? Imagine receiving a call on a windy, wet day, and have a Shakespeare sonnet performed for you by a talented, passionate kid. It’s special and magical,” says Kelly.” (Press Release, Jan. 20, 2015).


Photo Credit: Shakespeare in Action

Photo Credit: Shakespeare in Action

Here’s how their customized option works:

First, visit Sonnets by Kids!

Second, select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet, for $25 CDN, from the following selection: 18, 29, 105, or 116 (that last one is my favourite!)

Third, sit back and wait until Valentine’s Day–sometime between 2:30pm and 4:30pm EST, a charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!

But the fun’s not quite done just yet! A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail the personalized copy of your sonnet to your Valentine!

If that doesn’t create lasting memories, I don’t know what will! Congratulations, Shakespeare in Action on a stellar Valentine’s Day fundraiser!

And, finally, some things to look forward to…

Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective (SOTMSC) is celebrating its 5th Birthday, and they’d like to invite all of you GTA Shakespeare Friends to celebrate with them!

5th Birthday Promo - Credit: SOTMSC.

5th Birthday Promo – Credit: SOTMSC.

Here’s some info:

Five years ago, a project was started with the intent to perform Shakespeare on subway cars…
now it is a thriving community of over 70 artists, and countless friends and supporters!

“SOTMSC wants to thank everyone who has been a part of bringing Shakespeare to communities in need over the past five years by throwing a birthday party at Rancho Relaxo, just north of Kensington Market.

The night will include several free party favours like free cupcakes, raffle tickets, performances by PAINT and Jessica Speziale, and an opportunity to win KillShakespeare’s latest comic ‘Mask of Night’. More surprises will be released as the night continues.

Admission for the evening is pay-what-you-want. “If you gave a heap to us this past year and want to save your cash for some of our later shows, come in for free! If you’ve just heard about us and want to give a grand just because we’re an awesome cause, we wouldn’t say no either!” says Victoria Urquhart, founding member of the SOTMSC. “As added thanks for supporting our work, we want you to set the price!”

All funds raised go to the Shakespeare-In-Hospitals 2015 Program, set to take place this fall.” (Press Release, Jan. 2015).

Located at 300 College St., left side doors (Rancho Relaxo’s Upstairs), this will take place on Tuesday March 3rd, 2015: Doors @ 8PM; Bands start @ 9PM; Dancing @ 11PM.

So there’s lots for you to see, hear, and do in the next few days in Toronto… and if you really really still want more… why don’t you check out, Dauntless City Theatre’s Drunk Ado About Nothing, a modern twist on Shakespeare!


Photo Credit: Ted Kaiser.  Graphic Design: Adrianna Prosser

Photo Credit: Ted Kaiser.
Graphic Design: Adrianna Prosser

Dauntless, the company who brought the GTA Drunk Macbeth returns in force with their swingin’ 60s tiki beach party Drunk Ado About Nothing. The concept remains the same: the leads, Beatrice & Benedick, will drink their way through Shakespeare’s play whilst they navigate their way through love and hate.

Doors open at 7pm, pre-show shenanigans begin at 7:30pm, and the first drink will go down at 8:02pm. Dauntless has “doubled down” on danger with two drunken leads, and each evening this weekend will feature a new dynamic duo as Beatrice & Benedick, suggesting that this drunken Shakespeare will really tie one on! The rest of the cast will remain, sadly, sober throughout… but will more than likely be the ones providing the drinks.

Performances this weekend are on Friday February 13, Saturday February 14, and Sunday February 15, 2015. Tickets can be purchased online with brownpapertickets.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Get some Shakespeare in your life, spread the gift of poetry, support some local applied Shakespeare, and have some Shakespearean Shenanigans!!! Be safe, GTA!!!

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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