By Megan Hussey
The classics of Shakespeare are perhaps best enjoyed in beautiful open air forums--and indeed, the vast history of The Bard's canon is lined with public performances that grace the stages of the preserved Globe Theatre in London, one of the Bard's original theatres first opened in 1599 and an open air venue. And after debuting in New York in 1954, Shakespeare in the Park productions are performed throughout the world. Perhaps it's fitting then that, as Live Oak Theatre returns to the stage with THE BARD UNLEASHED, the first in its “Shakespeare on the Green” series, the stage will take the form of its beautiful new outdoor stage.
The Bard Unleashed will be performed on November 13, 14, 20, 21, and 22, at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday performances will take place at 2:30 pm.
"Check out our new outdoor theatre!" encouraged Vince Vanni, Live Oak spokesman. Live Oak's outdoor theatre experience consists of a 16 X 24 stage with full lighting, sets, and props, plus a generous lawn area out front; and a 1500-square-foot fully decorated luminous veranda. "We've been having outdoor rehearsals, and the Veranda provides premium seating," said Vanni. "Patrons enjoy seating on our newly renovated Veranda." This scenic setting will most literally set the stage for Live Oak's Bard Unleashed for two weekends.
"Worlds collide in this non-traditional Shakespearean presentation," read a Bard Unleashed press release. "Audiences will be taken on a literary journey through a variety of the Bard's works featuring comedy, tragedy, betrayal, and star-crossed love. You will experience them all, with a few modern twists and turns along the way, making the unfamiliar, familiar." And these wonders can be experienced at a discount, says Vanni. "Ticket prices for "The Bard Unleashed" have been reduced to $15 for adults and $5 for children 13 and under when accompanied by an adult," he said. Seating will be available on the veranda as well as on the lawn area. Patrons are invited to bring their own lawn chairs if they wish. CDC social distancing guidelines will be observed.
"For outdoor performances, seating will be socially distanced according to each group’s reservation," read a related news release. "Individual socially distanced seats are available, as well. We request that our audience wear masks when standing in line or going indoors. When seated in your socially distanced outdoor seating you may remove them if you prefer!"
Due to the nature of socially distanced seating, and the limited ticket availability for each performance, all ticket reservations must be made no later than 48 hours in advance of each performance. Payments must also be made in advance either online, by mail, or by dropping off a check at the box office. To purchase tickets, go to https://liveoaktheatre.square.site/ or email [email protected] or call 352-593-0027.