If you know me at all, you would know that I’ve always had a thing for the Bard. There’s just something about Shakespeare that is timeless and relatable. Recently, the world has celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and, with that, we celebrated how his works have been produced and performed by different peoples in different places and times throughout those 400 years. Shakespeare manages to relate to anyone and everyone, whether it’s a Japanese samurai version of Macbeth, (Throne of Blood), or a Puerto Rican infused musical version of Romeo and Juliet (West Side Story). Shakespeare has been taught in schools, performed on stage, and adapted to film – and his work always will be. When asked why I love Shakespeare or why I think his work is so popular, my answer is because Shakespeare had the art of capturing humanity.
So imagine my surprise when I found out I will be performing in Hoosier Shakes this summer. Here is a professional not-for-profit company that knows how good Shakespeare is and how important it is to share Shakespeare in the community, and I, a college student still wet behind the ears, get the honor to work with them. At first, I was really excited because I got to work with Shakespeare in a professional company and it would be good for experience and my resume. But, as time went on, I realized that what makes Hoosier Shakes great isn’t what I, the individual, gets out of it but because Shakespeare is being brought to the community. When putting on plays, it’s not meant for the performer. It’s meant for the audience. And what makes Shakespeare so great is that he knew his audience. His plays are meant for all: the highbrow and lowbrow, blue collar and white collar. Shakespeare manages to eloquently express all of our desires, fears, pains, and joys. And in a culture where quality theatre cannot be accessed without paying high prices, we are limiting those who can experience Shakespeare as he intended it – performed live in front of you. It is through performances of his work that the audience can truly understand how much Shakespeare understands them. And hopefully, through being able to see and hear his words, the audience would be able to understand something better about themselves. So the beauty about Hoosier Shakes is that they desire to make their Shakespeare performances accessible to all, because Shakespeare intended his works to be for all.
Hoosier Shakes is a benefit to Indiana because it gives students like me an opportunity to work professionally, but most importantly it aims to share high quality classical theatre to everyone. And maybe this summer, someone will fall just as deeply in love with the Bard as I have.
Twelfth Night and Pericles will be performed in repertory at Charley Creek Gardens in Wabash, IN, June 8-12 and the 3rd Street Courtyard in Marion, IN, June 15-19 and 22-26. Pre show entertainment will commence at 7:00 PM. shows will begin at 7:30 PM. Approximately run-time for each show is 2 hours and 15 minutes. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
Performances are offered on a Pay-What-You-Will basis. If you like what you see, make a donation to Hoosier Shakes, Inc. during intermission or after the show. Donations may be made online through the Hoosier Shakes account on Paypal: Login to Paypal.com and send money to “email@example.com”.