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Bard in the Barracks’ Love’s Labour’s Lost (2012) now available for viewing!

Right about now, we should be gathering in the Park and Barracks Square every night, soaking up the beauty of early summer Fredericton, cursing the rain clouds and the mosquitoes, and taking in some fine Shakespeare. Instead, we’re cursing COVID-19.

However, if you’re missing Bard in the Barracks, you now have another viewing option on YouTube (along with Macbeth and King Lear announced in our post earlier this summer) with the addition of our 2012 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost! Our brilliant videographer Chris Giles laboured over the final edit of this one for many years. It was truly a labour of love for him… and now available for your viewing pleasure!

Love’s Labour’s Lost is one of Shakespeare’s wittiest comedies, and our production was set in the JFK/Mad Men-era early 1960s. The premise, in brief: four young noblemen decide to swear off women and all wordly pleasures and devote themselves to a year of monk-like study, when four comely young noblewomen show up at their kingdom on a diplomatic mission. What could possibly go wrong? Meanwhile, in the subplot, a fantastical (and possibly pretend) Spaniard, a pretentious schoolmaster and assorted other sidekicks create a hilariously bad play to entertain the royals (think the play of Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Not produced as frequently as some of Shakespeare’s other comedies, Love’s Labour’s Lost is a rare treat. And 2012 was perhaps our worst year ever for rainouts, meaning not a lot of people got the chance to see this one. So now’s your chance to see it for the first time, or to revisit it. The production featured a stellar cast and, sadly, marked the final performance for our much missed dearly departed alumni Andrew Jones and Victor Stanton.

Enjoy the play, and the rest of your summer, everyone!

Bard in the Barracks 2020 Season Postponed

Right about now, in a normal year, we at Bard in the Barracks would be getting ready to start rehearsals for another season of outdoor Shakespeare in downtown Fredericton. Of course, this is not a normal year. Today we are announcing the indefinite postponement of our 2020 season. This would have been our fifteenth anniversary year (imagine that!), and we had a pretty exciting lineup in store to mark the occasion. But that will have to wait. Until when, we’re not sure. Probably 2021. But we’re going to leave the door just a crack open, in case the public heath situation and government regulations around social distancing and gatherings change drastically for the better in a way that would allow us to rehearse and perform for you safely. In that case, you might yet see us before the end of the year. Since that seems unlikely at the moment, though, we’re not holding our breath.

We’d like to thank our funders and sponsors, our past and present company and crew members, and all of our devoted audience members for your support over the years. We look forward to when we can all gather again in an enchanted forest or city square and share some theatre magic with one another.

In the meantime, if you’re missing your Bard in the Barracks fix this year, we have a couple of quarantine viewing recommendations. Revisit, or watch for the first time, two of our past productions, available free on YouTube, as filmed by the very talented Mr. Chris Giles.

First up, from 2011, our production of King Lear.

By now you’ve all heard how Shakespeare wrote this deepest and most soaring of his tragedies during quarantine, so what could be more appropriate? This production featured a truly all-star cast, one of the finest ever assembled in Fredericton. If you’d like, you can even compare Bard vet John Ball’s Lear with his real life buddy, Colm Feore’s, as performed at the Stratford Festival and currently available for viewing.

Second, we have Giles’ film of our 2010-11 wildly ambitious and hugely popular Macbeth, which remains our all time box-office champion, having drawn close to 1,500 attendees over two years and now over 600,000 views on YouTube. Watch this one to see how it set the bar for our subsequent Odell Park productions.

To get the true Bard in the Barracks experience, we suggest you wait until a rainy day at the end of June when the mosquitoes are at their worst, take your laptop into your back yard at dusk, and place it where the screen is partially hidden by a tree while you sit on a rock for a few hours.

Or, you can just watch it on your big-screen tv, in the comfort of your living room. Your choice.

Thanks so much, everyone, stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Back in action Tuesday with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park

There are only four more performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park remaining, tonight (Tues.), Thurs., Sat., and Sun., 7:30 nightly. And if you’re waiting for a night with perfect weather, that might not happen… You don’t want to miss this show, with moments like this! (music by Hannah Zamora, words by Wm. Shakespeare, choreography by Hilary Ready).

Celebrating Costume Designer Lynn Addleman

We’re taking Canada Day off (happy Canada Day, everyone!) before beginning our final week of performances for this season. Only four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park and three of Measure for Measure in Barracks Square remain. Both have been getting rave reviews from audience members, and with more uncertain weather in the forecast, you’ll want to plan carefully to make sure you don’t miss them!

If you’ve seen the shows, or photos from them, you know how fabulous the costumes in both productions are. That’s all the work of our amazing costume designer of many years running, Lynn Addleman, a woman who has lent her talents to countless Fredericton productions over the years, and who was awarded the Playhouse Honours Award for her contributions to theatre in the community. Below, an interview with Lynn by Bard in the Barracks publicist Matt Carter.lynn

Lynn Addleman has been designing costumes for Bard in the Barracks since our 2010 production of Macbeth. That was our second season to include performances in Odell Park and our first introduction to Lynn’s incredible skill and patience.

“I love Bard in the Barracks,” says Lynn. “I love the adventure of moving scene to scene in Odell Park and so I like to help to make it happen each year.”

Since our first production of Macbeth, there have been seasons with one production and others with two running in tandem between Odell Park and Barracks Square. That’s a lot of actors to outfit, and lot of measurements to take and a lot of final fittings and adjustments before opening night. With more than ten BITB productions now under her belt and over a hundred costumes created, Lynn has certainly become an intergral part of the Bard family. And to think, this all started with a few simple Halloween costumes.

“I started making costumes when my kids were little,” she said. “I would make their Halloween costumes. Eventually my sons would all get involved in musical productions at Fredericton High School and so I started helping with costumes for those shows. My youngest son is 37 years old now so I have been doing this work for quite a while.”

After taking a position in the Resource Department at Fredericton High School, Lynn’s interest in costumes became a bit more involved.

“That was a huge endeavor because it involved costuming over 100 kids for musicals every fall,” she said. “So that’s why I have grey hair. I’m completely untrained so I’m always flying by the seat of my pants and doing everything by trial and error. It can be very frightening and time consuming but somehow it usually works out.”

Soon after, other theatre companies from around the city began borrowing from FHS’s vast costume supply and asking Lynn to lend a hand.

Her work with each season of Bard in the Barracks follows a similar pattern. She first meets with Artistic Director Len Falkenstein to learn which plays will be performed and then begins her research into the stories and the period for each play.

“Len tells me what shows he’s decided on and then I reread the plays and make a few notes about costumes,” she said. “I have an English degree and I did quite a bit of Shakespeare study when I was doing my honours.

“He usually tells me what his concept is. For instance, this year’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is centered around Hollywood glamor of the 40s and 50s. And I must admit, I really had a hard time getting my head around how we were going to do that in the woods. I’m still not quite sure but I’m looking forward to seeing it happen.”

Having become an in-demand costume designer with a number of annual commitments throughout the city, Lynn admits one of the biggest challenges each year is simply finding a balance between getting things prepared and enjoying what she has helped create.

“My husband is a saint,” she said. “He puts up with costumes and costume bits all over the house. And he’ll also do the cooking and the shopping. He loves Bard in the Barracks too, but probably not as obsessive as I do. I go to every single show that I can because I just love it that much.

 

Rain cancellation for Wednesday night

With no improvement in the weather forecast looking likely for tonight, we are cancelling our performance of Measure for Measure for Wednesday evening. We’ll hope for clearer skies for tomorrow when we’ll be back at Odell Park for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Join us then and for Measure for Measure later in our run!Measure For Measure 2019-33

Monday off, back in action Tuesday

After great opening performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park Saturday and Measure for Measure in Barracks Square Sunday, both with strong crowds (get yer tickets!), we’re taking our usual Monday as a day off for our hardworking casts and crew. We’re back in action again tomorrow with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights for the next two weeks, and Measure for Measure Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday afternoon. See you at the shows!_MG_5306.jpg

Chalk one up to Mother Nature

We regret to inform you that tonight’s preview performance (Fri., June 21st) of Measure for Measure has been cancelled. Even if the showers stop by showtime, the amount of rain that has fallen has rendered our playing area unplayable. Even divine intervention didn’t help!

The good news is, the forecast looks great for Saturday night’s preview of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park and Sunday night’s opening night performance of Measure for Measure in Barracks Square! See you at the shows!

Measure For Measure 2019-22

It’s all right here!

You can now BUY TICKETS for our productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park and Measure for Measure in Barracks Square and find full details on the shows, all right here at http://www.bardinthebarracks.com! Just two weeks until Bard in the Barracks takes over downtown Fredericton!

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Auditions for Measure for Measure in Barracks Square and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Odell Park, April 28-29

Open auditions will be held for the Bard in the Barracks productions of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, directed by John Ball, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Len Falkenstein, on April 28th and 29th at Memorial Hall on the UNB campus. The plays will be performed outdoors (in Barracks Square and Odell Park respectively) and will collectively run from June 21-July 7, with exact performance dates for each play still to be determined. The plays will be rehearsed intensively (mainly evening hours) beginning the week of May 5.

Roles are available for actors of a variety of ages. Auditions will take place from 2:00-4:30 PM on Sunday, April 28 and from 7:30-10 PM on Monday, April 29, with callbacks the evenings of May 2nd/3rd. Those auditioning are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the plays beforehand. Auditions will consist of readings from the plays. Prepared monologues may also be performed, but are not required.

To book an audition, please email jball@unb.ca indicating your availability for the audition dates and any preference for date/time. Actors may be cast in one or both plays (if willing) at the discretion of the directors, but may indicate a preference of play (if any) when booking their audition.

Anyone interested in auditioning who is unable to attend either of the audition dates, or anyone requesting further information, can email lfalken@unb.ca or call 506 458-7406. Expressions of interest from persons who would like to assist with the productions in a musical or technical/crew capacity are also welcome. All members of the company will receive honorariums for their work on the productions.

Bard in the Barracks to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure in 2019!

Our 2019 season will feature new productions of two contrasting comedies: Shakespeare’s most magical and dreamy romantic comedy; and a gritty, urban play that is very much of our time.

Ten years after Bard in the Barracks first staged a show at Odell Park, we’ll return to the play we performed that year, the perennially popular A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in a promenade-style production directed by Len Falkenstein. As four young Athenians take to the woods with romantic designs on (or against) each other, the resident fairies start to mess with their desires and spark a deliriously spirited comedy of confused passions and shifting allegiances. When a group of “rude mechanicals” decides to rehearse a play in the same forest, the opportunities for transformation – and just plain embarrassment – proliferate. There is no play more suited to a night in the woods than this hilarious romp that’s about, well, a night in the woods!

This summer’s second play will be Measure for Measure, one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” to be performed in Barracks Square and directed by John Ball. Set in a Vienna whose absentee Duke has been lax at enforcing the laws regulating sex, this tragicomedy puts a strict deputy on a collision course with his own desires when a young nun pleads with him for her brother’s life. As he unexpectedly falls for her and makes a scandalous proposition, she calls him out and precipitates a crisis that the Duke in disguise sets out to resolve. If Shakespeare has a #MeToo play, this is it: sexual coercion, abuse of power, and the limits of justice and mercy are just some of the 21st-century themes explored by this 415-year-old play.

Together, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure will run from June 21-July 7. Full details regarding performances and tickets will be announced in May, and news about auditions will be coming very soon, right here!