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Main Street Theater Presents Virtual Summer Shakespeare

Main Street Theater Presents Virtual Summer Shakespeare

Summer is often a popular time for theaters and festivals across the country to produce free Shakespeare for their cities. Obviously things are different this year, so Main Street Theater is bringing Shakespeare to people in their homes with two virtual offerings.

On July 23 from 6:30 - 8:00pm, in partnership once again with Harris County Public Library (HCPL), Main Street will lift up the contributions of historical African American actors to Shakespeare. Speak of Me as I Am: a Celebration of African American Contributions to Shakespeare created by Jonathan Minchew-Gonzalez, Director of Education & Youth Engagement for this partnership as commission by HCPL. This will be the 3rd time the piece has been presented by the partnership, and it will, of course, be virtual.

While many African Americans of yesteryear such as Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and Hattie McDaniel are well known for contributions to America's art scene, fewer people know about the great black Shakespearian actors of early America. Figures such as Ira Aldridge, Henrietta Vinton Davis, and Paul Robeson may not be household names, but they enthralled audiences with their truth, dignity, and passion as they embodied characters such as Hamlet, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and Othello. In this one-of-a-kind reading, actors from Main Street Theater's Shakespeare for All program will share historic accounts, stories, and, of course, scenes and speeches from Shakespeare in an interactive, audience-friendly presentation that reminds us that Shakespeare is, indeed, for ALL. Local professional actors Ansonia Jones and Ernest Neal are featured in the performance. The actors will answer questions posted in the chat section of the live stream! Check for the link to the livestream at closer to the event date.

"Good company, good wine, good welcome can make good people." Henry VIII, Shakespeare

On July 27 & August 10 at 6:45pm, Main Street Theater will present its new online programming, BYOBard. Local professional actors will share Shakespeare monologues or passages they have always loved and/or wanted to perform LIVE in these free, Zoom events. Audience members are invited to submit requests as well - and are also encouraged to participate themselves in a reading if they wish! But all are invited to grab a drink or a snack, pull up to your screen, and enjoy some Shakespeare "together." For more information, contact Main Street will publicize the Zoom link on its website, on Facebook & Twitter, and via eblast as soon as it's available. The events are free; donations are appreciated.

Participating BYOBard actors to date (spread out over both July 27 at August 10) are: Callina Anderson, Elizabeth Marshall Black, Rutherford Cravens, Connor Flynn, Luis Galindo, Alexandria Garrett, Brad Goertz, Joel Grothe, Jessie Hyder, Bonnie Langthorn, Leslie Lenert, Shanae'a Moore, Rachel Ollagnon, Tom Prior, Joel Sandel, Skyler Sinclair, Jordan Tannous, Blake Weir, Nathan Wilson, and more to be announced.

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