Bringing Shakespeare to backyards

The Vermont Shakespeare Festival is bringing the Bard to your yard.
Published: Jul. 19, 2020 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 11:32 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Grab some popcorn, throw on your best garb, then head outside, because the Vermont Shakespeare Festival is bringing the Bard to your yard.

Perceptible performers say they’re bringing classic Shakespeare right to their audience.

The troop has been connecting family members, friends and anybody else with “Shakespeare Shorts.” These shows can be spot-on bits from Shakespeare’s most notable plays and stories, or they can be Shakespeare-themed messages for graduations, anniversaries and birthdays. They have been performing custom acts for about two-and-a-half months.

“This came out of a conversation about.... finding ways to continue to help people make connections,” said Jena Necrason, a member of the Vermont Shakespeare Festival. “Backyards, front yards... a few fields; we’ve done a number of Zoom Rooms all over the U.S., and we’ve also [performed] on the phone, as well.”

“One of our board members said, ‘Why don’t we do sort of a Shakespeare, telegram?’... like a live telegram,” John Nagle, another Festival performer said.

Each performance lasts about two minutes and is designed by the person ordering the telegram. And the person can select from a range of sonnets and monologues upon request.

Marita Martin requested a show for her husband’s birthday.

“He is a huge Shakespeare fan so this was a wonderful way to bring Shakespeare to us,” said Martin. “I think it’s wonderful, I think it helps people feel more connected to the theater and really makes Shakespeare accessible.”

Shows are free and can be requested any day of the week, just make a request on the Vermont Shakespeare Festival’s website.

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