Shakespeare in the park comes to Ingersoll

The Toronto based Driftwood Theatre will have their travelling Bard’s Bus Tour stop at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Toronto based Driftwood Theatre will have their travelling BardÕs Bus Tour stop at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum Friday at 7:30 p.m. The group will perform a musical version of ShakespeareÕs A Midsummer NightÕs Dream. Dahlia Katz/Special to the Sentinel-Review Dahlia Katz / Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com

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Ingersoll residents will soon have the opportunity to watch some outstanding outdoor theatre.

The Toronto-based Driftwood Theatre company’s travelling Bard’s Bus Tour will stop at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The group will perform a musical version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While the performance is free – or pay what you can – spots can still be reserved for $30.

“There a romantic quality to seeing theatre outside and to experience these stories, especially Shakespeare. These grand, awesome, epic and sometimes silly stories play out over an open sky and the chance to really revel in the quality are an added feature,” artistic director Jeremy Smith said.

The Driftwood Theatre brings live outdoor theatre across the province with contemporary takes on Shakespeare. This year is the company’s 25th anniversary, which it’s celebrating by performing at 22 sites from July 19 to Aug. 18.

Smith said bus tour concept was inspired by enjoying outdoor theatre while in school and then wanting to bring it to his home community in the Durham area. The tour began with four communities and has since expanded to more than 25.

The purpose is to provide people access to theatre at accessible prices. Since its first performance, the group has performed for more than 100,000 people in parks, fields, museums, schools and several other outdoor sites.

This musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was adapted in 2004 and performed a second time in 2012. The original play was also the group’s first performance in 1995.

This interpretation features a colourful, upbeat, jazz-infused musical celebration, with everything performed live and a cappella.

“You hit 25 and you reflect on the work you’ve done. We knew we wanted to celebrate this year with a production that would have a considerable amount of appeal,” he said of selecting this play for the company’s anniversary. “The sense of community, or needing and wanting community, is something we all have. All of those things came together to drive the impetus for producing the show this year.”

The Toronto-based Driftwood Theatre will have their travelling Bard’s Bus Tour stop at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum Friday at 7:30 p.m. The group will perform a musical version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.Dahlia Katz/Special to the Sentinel-Review Dahlia Katz / Dahlia Katz, www.dahliakatz.com

The production features eight actors and two vocalists, with five others helping with the technical and logistical aspects of the show.

Smith said locations are picked for the tour either through the company reaching out to the community or the community contacting Driftwood.

He said the tour is a year-round affair that ensures planning, scheduling, sponsors, grant writing and other aspects are covered.

For the performance itself, Smith said he hopes people take away several features from seeing theatre performed outdoors.

“Joy and a great appreciation for the people they come and see theatre with,” he said. “This direction is really a celebration of theatre and the arts, and the social quality of coming to see theatre, which is put together with the goal of putting down your devices, sit, engage, see.

“It really is a fun and delightful toe-tapping production and it’s great for the whole family.”

IF YOU GO

What: The Driftwood Theatre presents A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream

Where: Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum, 290 Harris St., Ingersoll

When: Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

How much: Free, pay what you can or reserve a spot for $30 at: www.driftwoodtheatre.com/see/bardsbustour

 

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