Shakespeare in space: Fredericton theatre company to stage out-of-this-world take on The Tempest
FREDERICTON -- William Shakespeare once wrote “All the world’s a stage”, and this summer, one of ‘the Immortal Bard’s’ most famous plays will take stage at the Fredericton’s Botanic Garden.
After a year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fredericton’s Bard in the Barracks Theatre Company is returning to action, and they’re taking a fresh take on Shakespeare’s classic The Tempest to the capital city’s botanical gardens…and beyond.
“It’s going to be great to see audiences again,” says Len Falkenstein, artistic director of the Bard in the Barracks Theatre Company. “We have a really enthusiastic fan base for these shows and I’ve seen so many comments to the effect of ‘can’t wait!’.”
Their out-of-this world take on Shakespeare reimagines The Tempest in outer space, in a staging inspired by science fiction B-movies and television series of the 1950s and 60s.
"I'm playing Ariel, and in this version of The Tempest, Ariel is a sentient A.I. slash cyborg who lives on this desert planet. She is of such advanced technology that her capabilities almost seem like magic,” explains actor Lara Lewis.
Last summer would have been the 15th season for the Bard in the Barracks Theatre Company, but was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Now, with the waves of the pandemic receding and New Brunswickers eager to take in live entertainment, the company is excited to get back to work.
"As a person who was, like all of us, forced into a hiatus from life, from different things we enjoy doing and that are important to us, it was very sad and difficult for me last year to not be able to participate in live theatre,” says actor Rebekah Chasse.
Chasse says the readjustment to getting her "theatre legs" beneath her again really comes with adjusting how to be back around crowds of people.
But it's also those crowds that they missed.
“To see those faces in the audience next week, and hear the laughter and the applause, is going to be the greatest feeling in the world,” adds Falkenstein.
The Bard in the Barracks Theatre Company will be performing The Tempest from June 24-July 4 in the Fredericton Botanic Gardens.