Buddies’ Shakespeare Experiment

It always interests me (and infuses me with the slightest of scepticism) when the theatre world and the academic world converge. I am sceptical because within my own limited experience in academia, I have found that the powers that be there often do not allow for the sheer magnitude of creativity and artistic prowess that is required to present a work that is both scholarly constructive and, by its own merits, an artistic work for the theatre.
However, in my academic experience, there was always one scholarly voice that consistently showed skill in presenting interesting, intellectual food-for-thought, without compromising her artistic vision. This artist is Moynan King. And so, as this project is being presented in association with King, with Sky Gilbert and through Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, I feel confident in telling you that this Shakespeare Experiment is likely well worth your time, even if academic theatre ‘ain’t yo thang’ (or something).
Here are some excerpts from the press release:

The Shakespeare Experiment is a three-year theatrical and academic project involving research into constructs of masculinity and femininity and the cultural conditions of Shakespeare production in performance. Each year, over three years, one scene by Shakespeare will be performed three different ways, with differently gendered actors in the same key roles in each performance. This year’s Shakespeare Experiment involves four short scenes from The Winters Tale performed in three different ways. In each version of the scenes there will be differently gendered casting, for some scenes cross-dressed roles, and some scenes not. The Stratford Festival of Canada has generously given access to their costumes for this project.

Student actors are mentored by professional actors, and learn about acting and gender issues by participating. In addition to the professional directors, designers and actors who will be mentoring the University of Guelph students involved, this year Seana McKenna (currently in her 18th season at the Stratford Festival) is involved in the project doing a workshop with the students.

The Shakespeare Experiment is a unique opportunity to be a part of academic research, and to think about theatre and gender.

The Shakespeare Experiment
Directed by Sky Gilbert, Moynan King & Edward Roy
Produced by Shakespeare and Company at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Three performances only: Saturday, August 29, 8pm & Sunday, August 30, 2:30pm & 8pm
Ticket prices: $10.00 / $5.00 (students and seniors)
Limited seating. Call 416.975.8555 to reserve.”

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