William Shakespeare turns 442 this Sunday (April 23), and two different groups celebrate the event in styles that go far beyond the Elizabethan.
Shakesperience , a company that's spent the past eight years demystifying the Bard and introducing the magic of his works to young audiences (grades 3 to 12), goes public with a one-night reading directed by Ted Dykstra.
Among the performers, some of the best of Canadian talent, are Brent Carver , Carly Street , Martha Henry , Seana McKenna , Lucy Peacock , John Neville , Ann-Marie MacDonald , Albert Schultz and Fiona Reid .
The event is at the Yonge Centre.
If your taste inclines toward the athletic, or if you have pleasant memories of the productions by Upstart Crow during the past several Fringe fests, you might consider, on the same day, the launch of Upstart Crow Publishing and the unveiling of six titles in the Sports Bard Series , based on the five Fringe shows that took Shakespeare's works into the worlds of rugby, soccer, the NHL and the Olympics, written by Chris Cocculuzzi and Matt Toner . Discounted copies of the books will be on sale.
The publishing company focuses on Canadian adaptations of Shakespeare and other drama for middle and secondary schools.
On hand for the launch - hosted by Roxanne Reads New And Used Books, an online bookstore - will be characters from the productions, among them Jack Falstaff ( Stephen Flett ), Chris Marlowe (Toner), Ben Jonson ( Rob McKee ) and Raphael Holinshed ( Seamus Dudley ).
For details on the free event, see Continuing Listings.
Playwright Marion de Vries paints portraits of women on the edge. Her solo shows big face and idiot were hits for other performers, the latter in a SummerWorks production three years ago. Both scripts were memorable for their visceral poetry and sharp characterizations.
Now de Vries steps onto the stage herself in the third section of the big face trilogy , mercedes . It's the first time she's performed her own work.
Directed by Heather McCreath and presented by left hand , the show deals with a suicidal, fast-living 45-year-old who finds herself accidentally pregnant and discovers what love can do.