Match: Lit Kicks Off Its 2019-2020 Season
This fall, Match: Lit celebrates the dawn of its fifth season with a third round of BARDcore: fun cuts of Shakespeare's plays read over trivia and drinks at the cozy Q.E.D. in Astoria, NY. Returning BARDcore director Laurel Andersen steps into the leadoff slot with her take on one of the Bard's bawdiest: The Merry Wives of Windsor. Artistic Director and Producer Kristin Sgarro is now joined by her fellow Match: Lit company members Victoria M. Fragnito, Nick Ritacco, and Rudi Utter as Associate Producers.
Each "Round" of BARDcore contains three exclusively-cast Shakespeare readings, each with a healthy mix of Match: Lit's core members, BARDcore alumni, and brand-new faces to their community. This month, Sgarro (last seen as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet) steps away from her usual trivia emcee duties to play Master Ford; Rudi Utter (Match: Lit's Director of Education, and R&J's Friar Lawrence) will take on the iconic Sir John Falstaff.
"The audition room never ceases to amaze me with the incredible diversity of talents, passions, and personalities," says Utter, a graduate of the Masters Program at Brown/Trinity Rep and an alum of the Guthrie Theater, the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and the Great River Shakespeare Festival, to name a few. Utter will also helm Match: Lit's classical artist training this fall: the Shakespeare workshops and scene study programming begin in late October after rave reviews from participants in trial classes this past spring.
"I simply cannot wait for these actors to work with him," Sgarro says. "His technical text work training has been fundamental to the life of our work. And I haven't met a single actor whose mind wasn't blown after working with him for the first time; and over time, their growth is exponential."
One thing they're both grateful for: the classroom is a great excuse to keep in touch with all they meet. "Our season is built to try and provide as many performance opportunities as possible," Utter continues, "but as an instructor, I'm also thrilled at the prospect that our new education program will give Match: Lit yet another way to engage with our ever-growing circle of Shakespeare-inspired artists."
"We've already considered slating more BARDcore readings to start accommodating everyone," Sgarro jokes. "I'll wait for next season to make that call."