No Holds ‘Bard’ With Outdoor Performances From The Empty Space | Arts and theater
Each pandemic anniversary strikes a little different and such is the case with Shakespeare. The Empty Space, which plans a Shakespeare production every April in honor of the famous playwright, had to get more creative this year by releasing “Bard in Your Yard”.
The outdoor theater experience will bring performers to your backyard or makeshift yard at the Oak Street Theater for a sonnet session starting Friday.
Directors Cory Guertsen and Claire Rock, who were scheduled to direct “All’s Well That Ends Well” last April before closing, were ready to try something new.
“We still weren’t able to play a full game this year, but we wanted to carry on our tradition of Shakespeare in the spring, so ‘Bard in Your Yard’ was born,” Rock wrote in an email. “Wanderbühne” being such a hit last fall, we figured what would happen if we knocked over the tables and brought the theater to the audience, and Shakespeare’s sonnets turned out to be the perfect material! “
For “Wanderbühne” in November, participants drove to nearby locations to see artists set up outside. For “Bard,” two casts of five will travel to clients who have reserved a two-hour window on one of the four days of performance. These bards will perform a selection of Shakespeare sonnets.
Cast A, which performs in the window from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., consists of Bob Kempf, Stacey Sheeter, Shaquille Hill, Guinevere PH Dethlefson, Ivan Mendoza (Friday and Saturday) and Angela Poncetta (May 1 and 2). From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Cast B with Scott Deaton, Becky Ingle, Joey Bedard, Heather McCarthy and Ariane and Gabe Sarzotti.
The bards chose their own sonnets and were able to customize them with variations including a musical performance and an adapted in Spanish.
Rock wrote: “These pieces are not just old words in a dusty tome, but living, breathing works of art that we hope to bring to life in an entertaining and accessible way for our modern audience.”
Those who book home shows must be located in Bakersfield and must share all relevant details (access codes, celebrations, yard pets, etc.), Rock said. It is also up to those who reserve to determine the size of the audience.
“There is no limit to the number of people who can attend home performances, so we encourage clients to include family and the quarantine team; luckily, with more people getting vaccinated, it becomes a little easier to get together with friends and family.
“Our bards have been trained to properly keep everything at a distance socially and, unless they deliver a small package of treats or treats you may have ordered, know how to maintain an appropriate distance between themselves and their audience.
Rock said each post came with a set of digital activities that included Shakespeare-themed puzzles, Shakespeare videos, and a suggested Spotify playlist “to play while you wait for your bards to arrive!”
Upgrade to the “VIP Experience” with half a dozen cupcakes and two bottles of sparkling cider for $ 25.
Wherever people choose to experience the show, Rock said he celebrates the adaptability of live performances.
“Live theater is a living, breathing beast and it really can take place anywhere; not having the options we normally have available to us due to the pandemic really challenged our creative team. to think outside of the physical scene of TES and I think that has really created a lot of new and innovative content for our audience. “
The Empty Space is also connecting with the community by participating for the first time in Give Big Kern, the local online fundraising campaign.
Rock wrote: “Not only did it help us raise money to pay the bills and keep the art coming, but it also put us in touch with a whole new community of people and really helped spread the word about our. name to those who may not have heard of us before. “
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.