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Sweet and Twenty – A Benefit for CleveShakes!

“Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty.
Youth’s a stuff will not endure” – Twelfth Night

Please join us on Sunday, May 21 from 5-8pm to enjoy a few delectables, reminisce and celebrate 20 years of FREE OUTDOOR SHAKESPEARE in Cleveland!

Speakeasy at Bier Markt
1948 W 25th St
Sunday May 21 5-8pm

$25 per person

If you can’t attend, please consider making a donation to help make our 20th Anniversary season a success!

BardLab Training Course

BardLab is a six-week course designed to prepare the actor for acting in verse drama, with a special emphasis on skills needed for outdoor performance.

Saturday mornings between 10am and 12pm
May 6-June 10
Ensemble Theater
2843 Washington Blvd in Cleveland Heights

COST: $100 for 12 hours of instruction

Topics covered include:

Week 1: Paraphrasing
Week 2: Scansion
Week 3: Rhetoric
Week 4: Direct Audience Address
Week 5: Performing Outdoors
Week 6: Putting it all together

This is more than just putting Shakespeare into your own words. Shakespeare wrote during what is termed the early modern​ era – the vocabulary that he used and we use today are almost identical so less “translation” is needed than we think.
Shakespeare’s ability to use a word with a multiplicity of meanings in multiple ways is one of the reasons we keep performing his works. This method of paraphrasing not only helps the actor find Shakespeare’s multiple meanings but also allows for better communication between the director, scene partners, and the audience.
Scansion and Rhetoric
In Shakespeare’s time, theater companies didn’t have directors. One theory is that the playwrights left clues in the scripts to help the actors find their way through a character and scene. Scansion and rhetoric are those clues.
Many of Shakespeare’s plays are written in verse form that has a specific rhythm. The scansion class will help you identify those rhythms and to learn what they might mean to help you make
choices as an actor.
is “the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech” ( Shakespeare uses many figures of speech in verse and prose, but rhetoric is what provides the rhythm for his prose speeches.
Direct Audience Address
Get comfortable playing to the groundlings by addressing your speeches directly to the audience by learning how to treat it as another character in the play.
Performing Outdoors
All the above information is useless if the audience can’t hear or see you. This class will explore ways to warm up and perform in order to adjust your voice and physicality to the space.
Putting It All Together
The final class is an opportunity to get everyone on their feet to use the information to perform a small scene.

Kelly Elliott has a MLitt and a MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University. While there she worked with the American Shakespeare Center and both acted and directed on their recreation of the Blackfriars Playhouse. Before graduate school, Kelly choreographed stage combat, performed, directed, and produced in theaters all around Northeast Ohio. Her play KILL WILL (co-written with Joshua Brown), which addresses all the deaths in Shakespeare in about an hour, had its world premier at Cleveland Public Theatre and was also performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Kelly’s extensive experience with Shakespeare includes (but is not limited to) a stint co-running the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival (1999-2001), choreographing violence for many Shakespeare productions, working for Great Lakes Theater’s education department, playing the titular role in MACBETH, and receiving positive reviews for her portrayal as Bottom the Weaver in Brave Spirits Theatre’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Washington, DC).

Open Mic Shakespeare – The Sonnets – Monday, Feb 6

Open Mic Shakespeare continues with a reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, just in time for Valentine’s Day! From the famous “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to the relatively unknown “My love is as a fever, longing still”, there’s plenty of love in this classic collection to fill your hearts. We were thrilled that so many people joined us last time, so let’s keep it going!

This month’s read is going to be on the West Side at the Starbucks in Rocky River (19555 Detroit Rd). We’d like to give a big shout out to all our West Side fans and patrons to come join us! Like our summer show, this event is absolutely FREE and open to the public.

The Rocky River Starbucks has graciously offered their meeting room for free. It’s not often we find such an awesome venue that is so generous, so we would ask that all our potential guests please consider purchasing a drink or pastry when they arrive on Monday the 6th.