tcTAKEOUT Episode 29: Katie McMillan and Mark Limacher perform "They Can't Take That Away From Me"

Hello Friends,

I’m writing you today with some very good news.

Over the past few months, we have been inundated with the halting of many of our daily and annual rituals around the city. This has been hard on all of us. So many of the places and events that we enjoy visiting haven’t been, and in some cases, won’t be available for some time.

For Theatre Calgary, it was imperative for us to not lose our outdoor summer tradition production of Shakespeare by the Bow. With the arrival of COVID-19, and the Alberta government applying limits to outdoor gatherings, I knew that we had to figure out a way to ensure that ‘ShakesBow’ could still have its voice and presence, and provide vital opportunities for Alberta’s young emerging artists.

So, to keep the 32-year tradition of summer Shakespeare in Calgary alive, we are bringing the renowned love story of Romeo & Juliet directly to you, via live streaming performances delivered to your home.

As theatre companies and artists around the world are exploring innovate ways to merge theatre and digital during this time of social distancing, I turned to my friend and colleague Haysam Kadri (Artistic Director of Calgary's The Shakespeare Company) to see if he wanted to take on the challenge of adapting and directing Romeo & Juliet into a 50-minute online play. As I suspected, Haysam jumped at the chance.

Haysam and I instantly agreed that this experience for our eight emerging artists needed to be creative and innovative. This new adaptation remains true to the heart of the play, while acknowledging the times we find ourselves in. Our goal is to push the envelope with regards to how creatively we can tell the story, while still maintaining a ‘theatre aspect’. And ALL shows will be performed and streamed live!

We are in unprecedented times. However art, creativity, and passion will always prevail and win.

So join us on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from June 24 - July 18 (7:00pm), as Theatre Calgary, in association with The Shakespeare Company and Hit + Myth present Romeo & Juliet. Much more information will be available soon on our website including where to watch it, and how you can support the program.

Speaking of support, I would be remiss if I did not thank the RBC Foundation for their ongoing support of our emerging artists, and our Friends of the Bard, Norm and Kathy Schachar.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and come witness the love of Romeo & Juliet. Home is where the Bard is!

Stafford Arima

Artistic Director