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.