An empty stage stands in the middle of the park, and the audience sits on blankets, chairs, benches, the grass, waiting to see what will appear. Then over the hill rolls a wagon, a band playing atop the roof, and the troupe, excited to see an actual crowd waiting with their various confections, push the wagon with newfound vigor. Soon the wagon comes to a halt in front of the crowd, and The Player observes, "HALT... an audience! Don't move!" Then after an infinite pause, the troupe breaks into mayhem, a door opens from the side of the wagon, and a stage is made.
"Not your English teacher's Shakespeare!"
For four years Shakespeare In The Park has become an ever growing part of Downtown Rochester Minnesota's "Rochesterfest". For Shakespeare's 5th year, SkyVault, the touring company of Northland Words, has begun preparation to take the show on tour to SE Minnesota as well as Iowa and Wisconsin. SkyVault is also bringing Shakespeare to schools for day-long Shakespeare workshops near the end of the school year. Featuring original music, original adaptations of Shakespeare's most loved plays, a rolling Minstrel Wagon with musicians atop, and a park-full of audience interaction, you haven't seen Shakespeare like this.
With a show budget of $50,000, and an immediate upgrade budget of $15,000 to allow SkyVault to take the show on tour, SkyVault is looking to you Kickstarters to "kick" our production going. $7,700 from you will allow SkyVault to purchase necessary upgrades early on. Many performance dates from May to July are already booked around SE MN, and rehearsals are under way.
"What's our hiccup?" (Update!)
Since this production is going on tour, SkyVault plans on purchasing a new wagon on which to build a new highway-worthy Minstrel Wagon. After four years of pushing the wagon, the minstrels are worn out! And a bus or moving truck to haul the production's sound, lighting, props, costumes and actors, would not go unwanted! And of course, we don't want to leave the audience out! Help us provide them with a canopy to cover from them from the vicious elements. The Minstrels have gotten used to it but we hope to offer the audience a little more accommodation.
"What Shall We Play For Them?"
SkyVault hopes to make Shakespeare accessible to all audiences around Minnesota. SkyVault wants the whole family to enjoy Shakespeare the way it was originally, as a hilarious romp of a time, full of music, food, fun and frivolity! Shakespeare isn't deep, but if it is, a quirky group of actors will be there to interpre-tate, illuminate, and explain-ify the bard's baffling text!
Along with the many shows being booked in parks around MN, we're also partnering with schools in many of the same cities to bring Shakespeare to them for a day of Shakespeare In The Park. We hope to bring literary lessons in a way that kids won't notice, and will have fun learning, even when it's about Shakespeare. Kids will be involved in learning many acting skills as well as learning about Shakespeare himself, his plays, characters and themes, and will culminate with a performance for the school involving the class we've worked with.
As well as bringing Shakespeare to more of Minnesota and the surrounding area, SkyVault's Shakespeare tour will also be able to generate profit for its sister company Words Players based in Rochester.
Risks and challenges
It's a play in a park, so sometimes the weather isn't perfect, but the minstrels go out rain or shine! Now, we don't expect everybody else to do the same, unless they think rain is just as fun as the minstrels do! We'll have umbrellas for you if it's going to rain, and we'll also have a number of canopies that will accommodate a large portion of the audience. For those days when the weather is too much to handle, we'll have worked with cities and organizations we're partnering with, to move to covered accommodations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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