Join me as I drive across the continental United States, visiting summer Shakespeare festivals from Richmond, VA to Ashland, OR to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall.
As a Bardolator, I wanted to explore Shakespeare festivals from the east coast to the west coast.
Along the way I hope to learn as much about America as I do about Shakespeare, and what the Bard means in a country so far away from his own, both chronologically and geographically.
Each company I visit will be written up on my blog, highlighting their unique personality and how their approach to Shakespeare compares with other companies across the country. I hope to bring all the companies I visit — large and small — into a national dialogue about Shakespeare theatre in America.
My first exposure to Shakespeare came from watching Star Trek. My father was an avid Trekkie so I absorbed a lot of Shakespeare through osmosis as I watched Picard and Kirk explore the galaxy in the starship Enterprise.
I fell in love with Shakespeare ten years ago and started volunteering with Quill — then Richmond Shakespeare — building sets, selling concessions, and eventually writing dramaturgical essays and teaching drama camps.
Over the last ten years I’ve taught in public and private schools as well as in a juvenile detention center. I’ve written educational TV spots for PBS and started a Shakespeare literary magazine. I’ve traveled across the US, to Canada and the UK to see Shakespeare productions. I’ve worked as a dramaturge on productions for Quill, and in 2016 I directed a short film of Measure for Measure.
But this year I will embark on my greatest Shakespeare project, making my way across the country, acting as an ambassador for American Shakespeare, visiting large and small festivals across America, learning about Shakespeare in the New World.
In the end I hope to write a book about my experiences, documenting what I learn about America and Shakespeare by spending the summer making my way to Ashland to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
One must be flexible on a road trip, so all of my destinations will depend on timing and production schedules. But my tentative route is below.
I set out from Richmond, VA on June 29th.
Currently heading northwest in the general direction of Ashland, OR. After visiting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival I will turn south down the Pacific Coast and then turn east after San Diego to head home to Richmond, VA through the south, Texas and Georgia, into North Carolina and then back to Richmond by way of Staunton.
If you know about Shakespeare happening along my route that I've not listed here, please email me and let me know!
Staunton, VA — American Shakespeare Center
Cincinnati, OH — Cincinnati Shakespeare
Louisville, KY — Kentucky Shakespeare
Boulder, CO — Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Cedar City, UT — Utah Shakespeare
Lake Tahoe, NV — Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
Ashland, OR — Oregon Shakespeare
San Francisco (area), CA — San Francisco Shakespeare + African-American Shakespeare Company + Marin Shakespeare Company
Los Angeles, CA — Independent Shakespeare Co + New Swan Shakespeare Co
The inaugural post on the BardCycle Blog! Given that I have a lot of prep work to do and a lot of blog posts to come, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. What is BardCycle? BardCycle is a cross-country tour of American Shakespeare via bicycle. When is BardCycle? I will set off from Richmond […]
Saturday I flew to Cincinnati to see the Cincinnati Shakespeare production of Othello. I should begin by saying firstly, that I am not a theatre critic by trade, so this shouldn’t be read as a review per se, but more a writeup of my personal and very subjective experience. I should also say, in the interest […]
A couple years ago, I was asked to write an article for a straight edge zine that never came out. Rather than let an interesting piece languish unpublished, I recovered from the depths of my hard drive and present it here, a loosely organized meditation on being a straight edge bardolator. No More Cakes and […]
There are few things more unpleasant to watch than a director who thinks he or she is going to “fix” Shakespeare. Canadian Stage’s production of King Lear demonstrates all the pitfalls of thinking that you know better than the Bard. Director Alistair Newton displays a rare degree of arrogance, playing so fast and loose with […]