Get to know our company’s artistic mission.
(Hint: it involves Shakespeare and beer.)
WHO WE ARE
Atlanta’s most talented actors (i.e. you) in barely rehearsed, barely directed, kinda tipsy, one-night-only productions of Shakespeare’s comedies & tragedies - in bars (or their parking lots). Doublet & pantaloon free.
Deliberately casual Shakespearean theatre. A charmingly spontaneous atmosphere. Frequent crowd interaction. A live rock band provides the evening’s soundtrack. Take a drink if an actor calls for line.
Bravery. Inclusion. Boldness. Pluck.
Our goals are fostering a playground for actors to work their craft, converting a newer, younger crowd of Shakespeare-lovers, and uniting Atlanta’s geographically scattered artistic community to bond over a show and a pint.
SHAKESPEARE IN A BAR? LIKE AN ACTUAL PERSON’S REGULAR OLE BAR?
Shakespeare didn’t write his plays for them to be observed from a safe distance as some sort of obligatory scholarly act. His audiences cheered when the lovers kissed, booed when the villains schemed, and heckled inappropriately during a soaring piece of poetry. They ate food and drank a lot of beer.
Bold Statement….but Shakespeare doesn’t belong tucked safely behind the fourth wall of our post-Stanislavski, realism-based modern-day theatre.
We’d do much better to take our audiences out of plush velvet folding seats and meet them at a pretty good modern substitute for Shakespeare’s playhouses: the bar. Returning to these roots enhances the immediacy of the performance and connects the audience in a way that simply isn’t possible on a traditional stage. It’s a fresh twist on that old saying, “Shakespeare as it was originally intended.”
WHY BARELY REHEARSED?
The legend of Shakespeare’s actors goes something like this: they memorized their lines, practiced the fights and dances, said their prayers, grabbed the verse by its wriggling spine and tried to tell the truth in front of a bunch of drunk folks. Working this way is terrifying, but it’s also absurdly fun. The lack of rehearsal naturally pushes our actors to a bold and unique performance. There aren’t weeks and weeks to nail the role; the actor must freefall into the whirlwind of the unknown.
We cast local Atlanta actors, and plan in advance so they can memorize and prepare. We gather for a read through and to figure out the fights and dances. The day before the performance, we hold one official run-through of the show. The performance features live music. Our actors might ad-lib to keep things going, but if they call for their line, the entire bar is asked to take a drink. The end result is an experimental, ephemeral, entirely unique evening.
Special thanks to all those who have come before us, inspire us, and bring this beautifully unprepared and breathtakingly bold form of entertainment to drinking establishments throughout the country.
Shakespeare in the Bar - Dallas, TX
The Back Room Shakespeare Project - Chicago, NYC, LA
Shakespeare in the Pub - Washington, D.C.
Shakespeare @ the Bar - Philadelphia