Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Cymbeline in the Park; Bear & Co. present Shakespeare summer fare.

Web-extra (June 28, 2018): Cymbeline in the Park;.
Bear & Co. present Shakespeare summer fare.

By Rachel Eugster.

Set out a lawn chair or a blanket, as Bear & Co. brings you a summer outdoor touring production of Shakespeare’s ridiculously over-the-top Cymbeline. Follow a pair of lovers as they react to the mad world around them in a 90-minute version of the play Shakespeare packed with every plot device he could think of: star-crossed lovers, a wicked stepmother, a befuddled king, a loyal servant, separated siblings, wild men, exiled kin, cross-dressing, kidnapping, murder plots, and a Roman invasion.

“The first time I read Cymbeline, I developed the irreverent but perhaps not altogether inaccurate idea that Shakespeare must have been up against a deadline, madly drawing on tropes he knew to be successful and linking them together in a way that made the best sense possible,” says director Sharon King-Campell. “It quickly became my favourite of Shakespeare’s works..

A Canterbury High School grad, King-Campbell now lives and works in Newfoundland. She returns to Ottawa twice this season, first to direct Cymbeline, then to assistant direct (with NAC English Theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley) when Between Breaths hits the stage at the NAC.

Cymbeline’s cast of six actors tackles its 40-odd characters full-on or in composite. Megan Carty (recently at the NAC in Up to Low) plays the heart-breaking and redoubtable heroine Imogen, while Ian Campbell (recently artistic director of Shakespeare by the Sea in St. John’s) plays the hero, Posthumous Leonatus. William Beddoe’s multiple roles include King Cymbeline, while Rebecca Benson’s include his wicked second wife. Phillip Merriman (last summer’s Romeo) doubles as her unlovely son Cloten and the fascinating Italian lover Jachimo. Ellen Manchee is both the gruff but kindly loyal servant, and the invading Roman army.

Join us outdoors to celebrate the long evenings and warm weather and enjoy theatre that stands the test of time. Bear & Co. brings you an experience close to the touring companies of four hundred years ago. Bring a cool drink or a full picnic, raingear in case it mizzles, and bug spray, and watch six actors conjure the deliciously weird world of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline in the open air.

The show tours Ottawa’s parks from July 3 (dress rehearsal) to August 5. West-end shows include July 5 and 19 in Clare Gardens Park, July 12 at Westboro Bearch, July 13 and 27 at Hintonburg Park, Aug 1 at Fairmont Park, and Aug 2 at Alexander Park in Carlington. View the full schedule at http://www.bearandcompany.ca/ .

All performances begin at 7:00 p.m., with a suggested donation of $20 per person.
Photo Caption: Megan Carty plays Imogen in Bear & Co.’s outdoor production of Cybeline. Photo provided by Bear and Company.

NOTE! Locations can change due to forces beyond our control, so please check back here to confirm before heading to a show. Dates with a * are recent changes.

(Schedule as appeared on the the web July 6th)
Tues July 3 DRESS REHEARSAL: Fire Station #12 park–The Glebe
Wed July 4 OPENING: Central Park–The Glebe
Thurs July 5 Clare Gardens Park–Westboro)
Fri July 6 Strathcona Park–Sandy Hill (at the willow grove
*Sat July 7 Walter Baker Park–Kanata
Sun July 8 Briargreen Park–Centrepointe

Tues July 10 Applewood Acres Park–Alta Vista
Wed July 11 Windsor Park–Old Ottawa South
Thurs July 12 Westboro Beach–Westboro
Fri July 13 Hintonburg Park–Hintonburg (behind the community centre)
Sat July 14 Stonecrest Park–Chapman Mills
Sun July 15 Dickinson Square–Manotick (near Watson’s Mill)

Tues July 17 Hiawatha Park–Orleans
Wed July 18 Central Park–The Glebe
Thurs July 19 Clare Gardens Park–Westboro
Fri July 20 Strathcona Park–Sandy Hill (at the willow grove)
*Sat July 21 Britannia Park–Britannia (at the gazebo)
Sun July 22 Bordeleau Park–Lowertown

Tues July 24 Fisher Heights Park–Fisher Heights
Wed July 25 Windsor Park–Old Ottawa South
Thurs July 26 Glabar Park–Carlingwood
Fri July 27 Hintonburg Park–Hintonburg (behind the community centre)
*Sat July 28 Carp Fairgrounds–Carp
Sun July 29 Fairbairn House Heritage Centre–Wakefield, QC

Tues July 31 Fairmont Park–Civic Hospital
Wed Aug 1 Central Park–The Glebe
*Thurs Aug 2 Carlington Park–Carlington
Fri Aug 3 Overbrook Park–Overbrook
Sat Aug 4 Station Park–Killaloe (Lion’s Hall, in case of rain)
*Sun Aug 5 Stanley Park–New Edinburgh

All shows begin at 7. Bring the family, a picnic, something to sit on, bug spray–and rain gear, if it mizzles. (The show will go on, unless conditions turn unsafe.) Suggested donation: $20 per person.

%d bloggers like this: