Dallas — The next production for the popular Shakespeare in the Bar, its 11th, will be Cymbeline. Performances of the event, which is exactly what the title suggest—a “barely rehearsed” and oft irreverent production of a Shakespeare play performed in a bar with the audience just a few feet from the action—are March 26 at the Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff and on April 2 at the Deep Ellum Art Co. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 2.
Cymbeline, one of the Bard’s last plays, is the first time SITB will have taken on a work that is not commonly produced, or at least not one of the dozen-and-a-half or so that are most frequently performed. Previous SITB productions have been Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like it, Richard III, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest.
"Cymbeline is a wild medieval fantasy romance that combines many of Shakespeare's most iconic storytelling devices,” says director Marcus Stimac. “Even though it is one of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays it is a very attractive choice for us, not only because it's a great story, but also because of what it requires from a group for it to really be performed well: an adventurous spirit, a crazy cast of characters, and great music—all of these things strongly resonate with our identity as a performance group and our goals with Shakespeare in the Bar."
The cast features Michael Johnson as King Cymbeline, Caitlin Glass as the Queen, and Katy Tye as Imogen. Others in the ensemble include: Jeremy Schwartz, Shawn Gann, Robby Gemaehlich, Brigham Mosley, Alle Mims, Isaac Young, Janielle Kastner, Zoe Kerr, and Beth Lipton.
“Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare's plays I've never actually seen a production of,” says Kastner, who is a SITB producer. “Since we ‘barely rehearse,’ as an ensemble we always need to rely heavily on each other, the words, and the audience to tell a story live in the moment—but this time I have zero preconceived notions as to what that story ‘should’ look like. What a fun challenge to tackle with these talented actors!"
Keep watching TheaterJones as we document the making of this production, beginning with the first read-through on Sunday, Feb. 18 (some images are on our Instagram page).
Tickets are $7, and you can find out more about Shakespeare in the Bar via its Facebook page.