After a year off, Bard in the Barracks returns to deliver a sci-fi take on The Tempest with its first production set in Fredericton’s Botanic Garden, June 24-July 4.
After the unfortunate cancelation of what would have been its fifteenth straight season producing immersive productions of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, Bard in the Barracks have announced plans to return this summer with a new production in a new location.
“Last summer felt very wrong and empty without spending two months playing make-believe in the park,” said Len Falkenstein, artistic director of Bard in the Barracks and the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival. “We’re all super excited to get back to making theatre in the great outdoors.”
To celebrate their return, the group will animate the Fredericton Botanic Garden with a sci-fi themed adaptation of Shakespeare’s epic journey play, The Tempest. The new location, with its expansive layout, will offer audiences plenty of room to properly distance while following the show from scene to scene.
“I’ve been thinking of making a move to the Botanic Garden for some years now, not as a permanent thing, but as a possibility for some shows in particular,” said Falkenstein. “I think it’ll be a nice change of scenery for both our company and our audience. It’s another beautiful location, less rugged and more manicured than Odell Park, but with a lot of varied terrain in a more compact footprint. It’s also got more flat, open space than Odell and that will be handy in a year when we will have to observe physical distancing. Plus, it’ll be stunning at the end of June with many of the Garden’s flower beds in full bloom.”
Following the company’s tradition of producing fresh takes on timeless works, this year’s production of The Tempest will draw its inspiration from early science fiction B-Movies and television shows of the 1950s and 60s.
“The Tempest was inspired by the tales of exploration and discovery that Renaissance explorers were bringing back from the New World, so it’s not hard to make the leap to change that setting a future where humans are exploring space,” said Falkenstein. “The central narrative, about a sorcerer duke exiled on a desert island inhabited by strange creatures, can easily be translated to that of Prospero being marooned on an alien planet, and the shipwreck that fortuitously brings his enemies within his grasp can easily be that of a spaceship, rather than a boat. Plus, it’s way more fun, isn’t it?”
Watch for information on auditions, tickets, times and more coming soon.