Company to stage Shakespeare’s The Adventures of Pericles, June 22-July 3, 2016.
Fredericton’s summer theatre tradition enters into its second decade with a production of Shakespeare’s swashbuckling tale of adventure, romance, and magic, The Adventures of Pericles.
“I’ve always been a big fan of this particular play,” said Len Falkenstein, the company’s artistic director, “especially because it is so rich with theatrical possibilities. It’s like an action-adventure epic with exotic locales, drama, intrigue, romance, and a whole lot of really crazy things that happen.”
This production marks the company’s return to one of the famous bard’s lesser-known works. In 2014 the company staged a production of Hamlet in Odell Park that was cut short thanks to the arrival of post-Tropical Storm Arthur, and last year they celebrated their 10th anniversary with productions of Hamlet in Odell Park and Romeo and Juliet in downtown Fredericton’s barracks square.
“This play is quite a contrast to our two shows from the last two years which are much heavier works that focus on a relatively small group of main characters,” said Falkenstein.
“This play is a real ensemble piece that will see many actors playing multiple roles, and that appealed to me given the large group of very talented actors I have to work with.”
Throughout its ten year history, the company has welcomed some of the region’s best emerging and established theatre artists, many of whom are regular performers with company’s like Theatre Free Radical, Notable Acts and Next Folding Theatre Company.
“It’s going to be great fun to get into the rehearsal room and create with them, sit down and figure out how we’re going to stage all these wild scenes and conjure all these different worlds.”
Falkenstein and the rest of the Bard in the Barracks team will search out unique locations throughout Odell Park to bring the world of Pericles to life, their actions helping lend a new appreciation to the landscape forever changed by 2014’s post-tropical storm.
“We’ve been performing in the park now for seven years and what struck me on a recent trip there is how much destruction Arthur caused,” said Falkenstein. “It completely transformed some spots where we once performed such that we wouldn’t be able to do scenes in the same way as we had done for previous plays.
“Without giving away too much of what I’ve got up my sleeve, I’ll just say that some of the treefalls that Arthur caused have created locations that with some of our usual theatrical magic and creativity will make perfect environments for certain moments in the play, both practically and atmospherically,” he said.
Pending official approval from Fredericton City Council, The Adventures of Pericles will be performed in Odell Park from June 22nd through July 3rd, 2016. As with past Bard in the Barracks productions, the audience will be immersed in the action and travel throughout the park with the actors, replicating the tempest-tossed journeys of Pericles as the play—in all its glory of sea battles, shipwrecks, jousting tournaments, and unholy rites—happens all around them.
Once again, music will play a central role in the play, with a live score performed by cast members accompanying the play, and puppetry and other innovative theatrical devices serving as elements in the storytelling.