Shakespeare in the Bar serves up Much Ado About Nothing

Fifteen actors will perform a barely rehearsed version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at The Wild Detectives in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District on Monday, March 23, 2015 at 9:00 p.m., accompanied with music by The 8th Street Orkestar.

This is the third production put on by Shakespeare in the Bar.

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This is a poster made by Shakespeare in the Bar to promote the event (Photo courtesy of Katherine Bourne).

The origins of the project begin with Dallas-area actress and SMU theatre alumna Katherine Bourne, who spent last summer in Chicago working with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. While she was in Chicago, she saw a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at The Back Room Shakespeare Project.

Bourne met up with fellow SMU alumna Alia Tavakolian and Dallas director Dylan Key to bring this concept to Dallas.

“This time around, more than in the past, the actors are really challenging themselves to lean into the vulnerability that comes with simply bringing yourself to the moment,” Bourne said. “With so little prep time, there is a real fight or flight mentality – to either cover up with a mask to protect yourself, or to trust yourself and your ensemble. One is easier; the other is braver.”

The play is a chance for audiences to “get to know their inner groundling,” Bourne said. In Shakespeare’s time, a groundling was the poorest member of the audience who had probably just left work, so the cast and crew of Shakespeare in the Bar encourage the audience to yell, indulge in a beer or too and have a great time along with the actors.

Audience will be capped once the bar reaches capacity of about 220, so the team encourages an early arrival.

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