Tonight at 6:00pm, Perchance Theatre at Cupids is popping up in the MUN Botanical Gardens. Tickets for the pop up are available at the door shortly before 6:00pm or in advance online.
This evening Perchance Theatre at Cupids is hosting their third annual Shakespeare in the Garden fundraiser. The fundraiser will feature a series of short excerpts from Shakespeare’s oeuvre by company members like, Steve O’Connell of Republic of Doyle, and stand-up comedian Alexis Kenning, as well as some younger company members, and guest actors.
The actors will be scattered throughout the MUN Botanical Gardens and audience members will wander the gardens stumbling upon performances. The 3-5 minute-long performances will be happening every ten minutes on the ten, making it possible to catch every single one.
“It’s like a choose your own adventure, you can go at your own pace and see all the monologues, or just see a few,” Artist Director, Danielle Irvine said, “And you get to explore the garden and smell the flowers and be in nature, which is what the company is all about.”
Irvine loves staging Shakespeare outdoors because so much of the playwright’s work deals with our relationship to nature. In previous years the fundraiser was hosted in private gardens, this year Irvine is excited to see the show flourish in a much larger setting.
“MUN Botanical Gardens has a mixture of different types of gardens and experiences all in a big environment,” Irvine said. “There’s walking trails through woods, a pond, hothouses, gazebos, rock gardens, herb gardens, medicinal gardens, shade gardens, all different types of plants. It means we can spread right out and play.”
The show will feature a smattering of work from all-over Shakespeare’s extensive catalogue. In order to deicide which excerpts to include, Irvine approached the actors to see which pieces of Shakespeare they love the most and discuss which selections would work best in the gardens.
“We’ve got sonnets, we’ve got some really famous monologues from some of Shakespeare’s greatest hits plus some lesser known but really cool, fun monologues,” Irvine said.
In past years Shakespeare in the Garden has been a huge success, Irvine says audiences love the unique intimacy created by staging the show in a garden.
“The feedback I’ve gotten about this event is that people love being that close to an actor,” Irvine said. “The actor talks directly to you, as they do on our stage in Perchance, but you’re in a little tiny part of the garden, it’s an incredible experience to be that close to someone who’s that good at their job and is making magic right in front of you.”
The proceeds from the event will go to Perchance Theatre at Cupids, the only professional classical theatre company in the province. Based in the small community of Cupids, the company’s productions take place in an outdoor theatre modeled on the Globe Theatre in England. Perchance just wrapped up it’s 2017 season, which featured Shakespeare’s Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew, along with local playwright Megan Gail Coles’ Our Eliza.