Shakespeare Dallas Opening Curtain on Next Act During Pandemic

Shakespeare Dallas artists are performing online instead of on stage

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The stage for Shakespeare in the Park is empty. There's no safe way for a sold-out audience to gather. There's a lingering pandemic. Those are the elements for a Shakespeare tragedy, but Shakespeare Dallas is determined to rewrite the script.

"As soon as the pandemic set it we made a commitment that we want to be here for generations, 50-years from now," Associate Artistic Director Jenni Stewart said. "The arts will find a way to survive."

Shakespeare Dallas had planned to perform an original work called 'Shakespeare and the Suffragists' live, but then pivoted to show a movie version for socially distanced 'Movies in the Park' series in October, and online viewing until the end of November.

"Moving virtually definitely has its advantages over live performance," Stewart said. "It lets us reach audiences in a different way."

Shakespeare Dallas is running on a lean budget without live shows, and relying on support from the community, but Stewart said a scrappy philosophy helps Shakespeare Dallas roll with the pandemic punches.

"I think we all feel these are unprecedented times, but they really aren't," Stewart said, pointing out Shakespeare wrote some of his best-known work during times of plague. "That's been kind of, like, heartening that at least it's connecting us to him and what he would have gone through."

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