Bard in the Barracks will stage productions of Julius Caesar and As You Like It, June 15 – July 3.
Bard in the Barracks returns to form this week with productions happening in Odell Park and downtown Fredericton. After a year away in 2020 followed by last year’s one-production season in the Fredericton Botanic Gardens, Fredericton’s only Shakespeare-in-the-park theatre company is ready to take audiences on a pair of immersive adventures across two city locations.
“We were debating a one or two-show season early in the spring and when I sent out a poll to past cast members about who would be interested in performing this year, the response was overwhelming, so that settled the decision,” said Len Falkenstein, the company’s artistic director. “There’s been a whole lot of excitement online too from audience members, so I think there’s a lot of pent-up demand for people to get out and do their usual Shakespeare binge of a couple of fascinating, fun, and very contrasting shows done in cool ways in two very different locations.”
A production of Julius Caesar, directed by Falkenstein, will mark the company’s first multi location production in the downtown district beginning on the steps of the Provincial Legislature and moving around locations near the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and along The Green.
“Staging scenes from Julius Caesar, this play about political conspiracy and skullduggery, in front of the Provincial Legislature, is not only extremely fitting, of course, but gives us such an awesome and stunning backdrop,” said Falkenstein. “We’ll also be using multiple locations adjacent to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery for some of the ‘private’ scenes of the play. They work fantastically there, and with the river in the background, it’s another gorgeous spot. The famous funeral oration in the Marketplace will take place in the Gallery’s outdoor courtyard in a very intimate staging that will have the audience rubbing elbows with the actors. And then the final scenes will take place along the Green, using some of the natural features and the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge to great effect.”
While Julius Caesar centres on a revolt against authoritarianism, the characters of As You Like It flee a vicious ruler and corrupt court to build a happier life in the pastoral countryside. This gentle comedy, directed by Tilly Jackson, features a bevy of lovers whose romantic desires are initially thwarted by a series of hilarious confusions of identity set in motion by the classic Shakespearean trope of a young woman disguising herself as a boy. Filled with buffoonish clowns, lovelorn shepherds and shepherdesses, dyspeptic philosophers, and fearsome wrestlers, As You Like It will take audiences on an evening stroll through beautiful Odell Park filled with music and song, and capped by no less than four marriages.
Julius Caesar and As You Like It will run in repertory from June 15-July 3, with performances of Julius Caesar on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 8 p.m., beginning in front of the provincial Legislature. Performances of As You Like It will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. at Odell Park. Tickets range from $12-$20 with further savings for families, groups, and preview performances on June 15 and 16. Advance tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/bard-in-the-barracks-33541233539. Full show details and ticket information is available at www.bardinthbarracks.com. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 506 458-7406.