Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week one of ARTFARM's Shakespeare Everywhere reaches hundreds

ARTFARM kicked off its month of guerilla Shakespeare this week with two high profile fun appearances in Middletown.
Shakespeare's first strike took place Tuesday night at the City's Fourth of July celebration. Three actors -- Marcella Trowbridge, Brian Jennings and Dic Wheeler -- rode through the crowd on bicycles accompanied by a giant rolling Shakespeare head and a small support team. The caravan worked its way through the crowd in front of City Hall, shouting monologs from Richard III, Henry V and A Winter's Tale over the blues of Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze, tossing out couplets, and encouraging July Fourth celebrants to come up with Shakespeare quotes of their own ("To be or not to be" and "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" proved to be the most popular). The band of Bardish bicyclists somehow managed to squeeze the 8 foot tall Shakespeare head through the tunnel to Harborpark (afraid for a moment in the middle that he might get stuck there forever -- Middletown's new underground poet), and continued performing along the river as dusk fell and the crowd prepared for the fireworks.
The performances were enthusiastically greeted throughout the two hour adventure, and hundreds of people had Shakespeare brought into their lives by the posse of performers, many experiencing live Shakespeare for the first time.
Thursday night the ARTFARM Ensemble took an entirely different approach, invading Wesleyan's Center for the Arts with 25 flashmobbing  fairies just as the Bomba band Alma Moyo was about to start playing. With about three hundred people enjoying a lovely summer evening, Oberon confronted Titania (Jennings and Trowbridge featured again) in front of the stage, each supported by a feisty band of fairies set to rumble. Magical creatures ages 5 to 55 emerged from out of trees and behind buildings, slipped through picnic baskets and wine bottles as the Fairy King & Queen performed Act 2, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream
When will Guerilla Shakespeare strike again? Could be anytime, anywhere, but you'll get some hints if you like ARTFARM on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @ARTFARMpresents, or visit
Or you can make it happen yourself by joining the Shakespeare Everywhere Global Challenge. ARTFARM is challenging individuals or groups to perform bits of Shakespeare in public places, record it and post it online. Each week the favorite posting will be awarded a prize, and each of the weekly winners will be invited to join the ARTFARM Ensemble on Sunday, August 5 at 5 pm in the Grove at Middlesex Community College for Shakespeare Everywhere: The Compleate Work.
Join the fun! Recite Shakespeare in your local diner, at the office, in a crosswalk (carefully), and become part of this unique and joyous celebration of William Shakespeare!

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