*UPDATE: “Illness and inclement weather continue to cause production delays, postponing the Jan. 20-21, 2022 public performances of The Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s (NSF) Abbreviated Shakespeare featuring MACBETH, ROMEO & JULIET, and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center. These two performances are postponed indefinitely, and all tickets have been refunded by the venue. The NSF is working to offer these performances to the public in February or March.”
The ongoing COVID crisis is enough to drive us as mad as Lady Macbeth. Last summer’s uncertainty surrounding COVID protocols for school field trips forced The Nashville Shakespeare Festival (NSF) to cancel its annual Winter Shakes production at Belmont University.
“The night is long that never finds the day,” says a character in Macbeth, who perceives a better time coming. The NSF anticipates that time with a new, professional abbreviated presentation of three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays for two nights only — on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 with Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 with Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream — at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park.
NSF Artistic Executive Director Denice Hicks and Education Director Katie Bruno co-direct the interactive and playful productions, including Macbeth (1 hour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (30 minutes), and Romeo & Juliet (75 minutes). Each presentation features five actors who play multiple roles with minimal set and props, demonstrating the clarity and power of Shakespeare’s poetry from three of his most popular works. All ages are welcome, although Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet deal with mature themes.
These three plays are touring and presenting educational workshops in the Mid-South region January 2022 through March 2022 as the Shakespeare Education Experience to remind us of the relevance of the stories, the importance of imagination and the joy of live theater.
The troupe of professional/teaching actors hails from across the continental United States and Guam and features Nicholas DiPuma, Ethan Lyvers, Ange Madaline-Johnson, Joyce Torres and Mia Zappacosta.
“With Shakespeare, there is always a little further to dive in to. There’s a lot to explore.” says Ethan Lyvers, a Chicago-based actor making his debut with the NSF, having performed on-screen as well as with the Houston Shakespeare Festival and Texas Shakespeare Festival.
The creative team includes stage manager Jan Morrison, local set designer Shane Lowry, costumes designed by Denise Kelly, props by Pixie Convertino, fights choreographed by David Wilkerson, and encompassing support from NSF Director of Education Katie Bruno.
Tickets for the January 20-21, 2022 “Public Preview” weekend available for $10 here.
This event is open to all. Educators and administrators are encouraged to attend this event as guest of The Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Performance dates may move due to the public health crises. Please check NSF and venue web sites on day of show. All tickets will be honored.
For details about the Shakespeare Education Experience (SEE) January through March, 2022, visit nashvilleshakes.org/touring-shakespeare.