Shakespeare On Stratford Marks The Bard's Birthday
Brooklyn's Brave New World Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce Shakespeare on Stratford, a FREE family friendly birthday bash in honor of Will Shakespeare on Sunday, April 28th 2-4pm. In a h/t to Shakespeare's birthplace Stratford Upon Avon, the celebration is set to take place on Brooklyn's Stratford Road in Ditmas Park/East Flatbush.
The multi-faceted Shakespeare on Stratford festival will encourage attendees to wander from porch to porch (along Stratford Road from Cortelyou Road to Slocum Place), to hear 18 costumed actors perform some of the Bard's celebrated and lesser known sonnets (2pm) followed by a madrigal singalong (3pm) in the middle of the street with performers and audience members singing one of the period's most famous madrigals, Now is the Month of Maying. The festival culminates at 3:40pm with "courtly line dancers" filling the street and quickly evolving into Afro-Haitian dances celebrating Spring and re-birth.
Brave New World's Shakespeare on Stratford festival will take place one block from their longtime headquarters in Ditmas Park, a lovely tree- and porch-lined neighborhood that floods every spring with pink cherry blossoms, tulips and daffodils. Rain date is Sunday, May 5th.
"We're here both to celebrate spring and bridge the cultural, economic divide of the communities on either side of Flatbush Avenue," says BNW Producing Artistic Director/co-founder Claire Beckman. "Everyone should have access to theatre, music and dance so we hope our neighbors in Ditmas Park and East Flatbush will come together for this free secular celebration of spring."
For the Shakespeare on Stratford festival, Beckman will direct the sonnets, many performed by professional actors/company members. Music director for the madrigals is Nancy Shankman, of NYU Steinhardt where she serves as Director of NYU Steinhardt's Adult Chorus and was former director of the NYU Modern Madrigal Singers. Dance director-choreographer is Haitian-American multidisciplinary artist Sheila Anozier, currently on faculty at the Mark Morris Dance Center.
Brave New World Rep's SHAKESPEARE ON STRATFORD Spring Festival Sunday, April 28 from 2-4pm Outdoors on Stratford Road between Cortelyou Road & Slocum Place
Transportation: Q to Beverley Road
For the past 14 years, Brooklyn's Brave New World Rep has carved out a site-specific niche presenting re-envisioned classics and works by Brooklyn playwrights. Recent work includes free performances of Elmer Rice's Street Scene, where the company closed off a street in Park Slope, using a tenement building and adjacent street as the stage; Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge presented in 2018 on the Waterfront Barge Museum in Red Hook; and The Plantation, a bold new adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, a post-Civil War story set after emancipation but before the onset of Jim Crow. This immersive production was performed in The Commanding Officer's House on Governors Island, August 31-September 24, 2017.
Brave New World Rep has earned a reputation of delivering unexpectedly immersive works to communities all around Brooklyn, beginning with its 2005 production of To Kill a Mockingbird, presented on the front porches and sidewalks of a tree-lined Ditmas Park street.