Shakespeare Meets Bowie... In Pekin
Above: Stone Soup Shakespeare's 2018 production of The Taming of the Shrew
With a David Bowie-inspired production of Twelfth Night, Stone Soup Shakespeare is bringing its Shakespeare in the Park program to communities throughout the Midwest this summer. The professional touring company is set to perform at Mineral Springs Park in Pekin on June 2nd at 6pm. This is the company’s ninth year of touring.
Shakespeare’s classic tale of twins shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria—each imagining the other drowned—will be set in a world inspired by Bowie’s music and personas. “Bowie was never afraid of transformation/reinvention and chasing what he wanted,” says director Samie Jo Johnson. “He interpreted love songs and lived life by his rules.” In keeping with that theme, the ensemble of six will create a Bowie-inspired musical landscape while adapting Shakespeare’s story and language.
With actors hailing from Chicago, St. Louis and Carbondale, the nonprofit company was founded in 2010 to bring Shakespeare productions to areas that normally wouldn’t have access to them, while adapting the stories to the present day. Their goal is to introduce Shakespeare to new audiences and surprise literature fans with new interpretations of the stories. The ensembles are purposefully small, with actors taking on multiple roles per production, creating a frenetic energy that audiences of all ages will enjoy.
Audience members are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy during the free public performance. In addition, they are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for collection and distribution to local food banks. For more information, visit stonesoupshakespeare.com. PS