GVSU Shakespeare Festival to close with 'Macbeth' performances

By Carmen Smith | 10/9/16 11:52pm

GVL/Emily Frye - Bard To Go runs through their last performance of the Shakespeare Festival Saturday, Nov. 7, 2016.
by Emily Frye and Emily Frye / The Lanthorn

The 23rd annual Shakespeare Festival comes to a close with a traveling production, known as Bard-to-Go, with one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, “Macbeth.”

Bard-to-Go is a traveling production that goes to various secondary schools in the area to put on a condensed, 45-minute production of a Shakespeare play. The group will be performing Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room and Saturday, Oct 29 at 1 p.m. in the DeVos Center at the Loosemore Auditorium.

“Bard-to-Go is a program is designed to help introduce Shakespeare to the secondary schools that makes it more accessible,” said Shakespeare Festival director James Bell. “Most, if not all of the schools, read 'Macbeth' as part of their curriculum. A lot of them reading it won’t understand very well, but seeing it is a different experience.

"Shakespeare is meant to be seen; it’s something they can understand and relate to, not to be afraid of.”

The traveling group is made up of six GVSU student performers and one student stage manager, directed by visiting GVSU faculty member Dennis Henry.

“I toured as an actor, doing primarily Shakespeare, for about 10 years, so this experience is a great way to start my time here at GVSU,” Henry said. "Each performer plays multiple characters, which includes multiple costumes and character changes throughout the show. Along with that, it encourages more audience engagement in order to dictate who is who."

“This show is crazy because I play four completely different characters,” said Bard-to-Go student performer Bruno Streck-Rodrigues. “Trying to tell a two-and-a-half-hour story in 45 minutes is a challenge, but it has been amazing.”

The program was made in order to provide a mixture of entertainment and learning principles in and out of the classroom.

“Bard-to-Go coming in and working with the students gets them excited and teachers can build from that and provides not only good entertainment but is a good cultural resource,” Bell said.

After the performance, there will be a reception honoring award-winners and performers that participated in the festival.

“If students haven’t seen it, it’s a great thing to come and see. Everyone knows the story of 'Macbeth,' it’s free and an hour,” Bell said. “There’s a lot that’s still happening with the festival, and it’s a campus resource we hope students take advantage of."

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