Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble Naked Shakes Series Ends With Sonnets and Soliloquies

The Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble, presenters of the "Naked Shakespeare" series, concludes its 2009/2010 season with a special "Greatest Hits of the 2009/10 season" version of the popular monthly "Sonnets and Soliloquies" performances. The troupe performs on Monday, June 7th at 8 p.m. at the Wine Bar on Wharf Street, bringing to a close a hectic year that began with the Company Being ousted from its long-time home due to a city ordinance that was subsequently amended to allow the performances to continue. In late winter/early spring, the company presented a highly successful adaptation of The Tempest at USM and the St. Lawrence, and the ensemble is currently in the midst of its first annuAl Westbrook Shakespeare Festival, featuring performances of As You Like It, directed by Michael Howard, and Romeo and Juliet, presented by the Young Actors Shakespeare Conservatory. The June Wine Bar event will feature selections from each of these shows, along with some audience favorites from previous "Sonnets and Soliloquies" shows. The performance is free with a $5 suggested donation.

"Sonnet and Soliloquies" is an ongoing series of performances at the Wine Bar on Wharf St. in Portland's Old Port. "Sonnets and Soliloquies" is a one hour free performance of some of the bard's best poetry, presented in a style that is designed to be accessible to all audience members, even those that are not that familiar with his work. The ambience and performance style encourage an intimate relationship between actor and audience that allows the language to take center stage. Actors are cued by contemporary lines written on cue cards read by audience members, allowing for a playful interaction that celebrates the poetry by providing a contemporary context for the text. Over the past three years, "Sonnets and Soliloquies" has become one of Acorn's signature events, allowing company members the chance to premiere new text in front of an audience while exploring the company's aesthetic that breaks down walls between performer and listener.

The Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble was founded by Michael Levine and Michael Howard in the fall of 2004 in order to provide an opportunity for local professional actors to forge a long-term working relationship designed to deepen their ability to interpret classical text. The company's mission to is to educate its audience about the meaning behind Shakespeare's text by using acting to simply demonstrate the broad range of intricate emotion, theme and language. The company offers a free series of "Naked Shakespeare" performances at venues throughout Greater Portland not typically used as performance space for live theater, creating the world of the play in the imagination of the audience by minimizing the use of sets, lights and costumes.

Call Acorn Productions at 854-0065 or visit for more information about Naked Shakespeare or any other programs offered by Acorn Productions.


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