Michigan Shakespeare Festival to Tour MACBETH, ROMEO & JULIET, 11/4-5/30
The Michigan Shakespeare Festival is proud to announce the opening of their 2013/2014 Touring Performances. From November 4, 2013 through May 30, 2014 the MSF tour will perform Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet for high schools, libraries, community organizations, and senior centers throughout Southern Michigan, Northern Indiana and Northern Ohio. Adapted and directed by award-winning MSF Artistic Director Janice L. Blixt, productions run approximately 100 minutes and are available for booking at any time throughout the year. Tickets are $8.00 per?person with a minimum of 150 audience members per show (teachers, chaperones and organizers each receive a complimentary ticket).
Over the past four years the MSF has brought live Shakespeare to more than 40,000 students in Bay, Branch, Calhoun, Genesee, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Kalamazoo, Livingston, Macomb, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties in Michigan, plus Henry and Lucas Counties in Ohio, and Allen and DeKalb Counties in Indiana. In terms of content, "the touring shows are designed to work in large theatre spaces with modern tech or in smaller lecture halls or non-theatrical spaces if that's what a group has available" explained director Janice L. Blixt. "They're done in a manner similar to how Shakespeare's own company would have produced the plays: a combination of modern sensibilities and 'period' embellishments. It's about giving the feeling of an era but not taking away a modern audience's ability to see these characters as real people."
The MSF Touring Company is made up of young professional artists from Southeastern Michigan: Jackie Bery (Shelby Township), Meredith Deighton (Ann Arbor), Stefanie Din (Williamston), Eric Eilersen (Almont), Rick Eva (Canton), Dan Johnson (Ann Arbor), Philip Kautz (Burton), Dennis Kleinsmith (Lathrup), Marcus Laban (Warren) Derek Ridge (Howell) and Natalie Rose (Swartz Creek). The entire company is featured in both productions in true repertory fashion. When asked what his favorite part of performing the tour is, actor Daniel A. Helmer (Ida) stated that "Shakespeare offers such a vibrant perspective to issues we confront daily, and being a part of a tour that explores these subjects with students and allows for the discussion to begin for improving themselves by their own choice is a cherished idea for me." Playing Peter in Romeo & Juliet, Marcas Laban added "besides the fun of performing in different places and getting to travel around with your cast mates, it's very gratifying as an actor when you realize students truly understood the language of the play and the performance we give as a company. Shakespeare is really meant to be seen and heard and the tour gives the students the unique chance to see the play they read in class come to life." Although the length of the shows are somewhat reduced, the exciting stage action isn't. MSF Resident Fight Director, David Blixt, stated, "both of these shows are extremely fight-heavy, with rapiers flying in Romeo & Juliet and broadswords clanging in Macbeth. The cast has worked tirelessly as I put them through their paces, and the result is as exciting and as vibrant as I could have ever dreamed."
Founded in 1995, the Michigan Shakespeare Festival is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit professional theatre company operating under a League of Regional Theatres Letter of Agreement with the Actors' Equity Association. The MSF is dedicated to entertaining and educating a broad-based audience through professional performances of Shakespeare's works and other classic plays. In 2003 the MSF's quality productions earned it the designation as "The Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan" from the Michigan State Legislature. The MSF performs a repertory season of three productions annually at The Baughman Theatre, located in Jackson College's Potter Center.
Performances can be scheduled by contacting Hannah Noth, MSF Booking Manager, at MSFTour@aol.com.