Cincinnati’s oldest tavern will offer more than just food and beverages this weekend. Eleven senior CCM Acting students will take over part of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, located at 210 East Eighth St., to present Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The production is part of a class project under CCM associate professor D’Arcy Smith — but Smith isn’t directing the show. In fact, Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream has no director and the students only rehearse the show once before the free, one-night-only performance.
This new approach to Shakespeare is based on the Back Room Shakespeare project, a Chicago-based initiative created by actor Samuel Taylor. Thanks to CCMpower, the students were able to receive guidance from Taylor, whose vision is to bring Shakespeare to the masses, without all of the frills and formality that usually accompany the Bard’s works.
“We’re not trying to re-create Elizabethan London,” according to the Back Room Shakespeare project’s website. “We’re trying make a space where Shakespeare’s beautiful, bawdy and bloody plays feel at home. Where actors can be responsible for their own creative work. We’re looking for a party. A riot! A hoot! We try to turn people on, and turn nothing off — not even the cellphone. It’s storytime, not judgement day.”
Shakespeare On The Rocks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the first Back Room Shakespeare Project production in Cincinnati. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show kicks off at 7 p.m. After the performance, the actors will accept donations for CCMpower. Visit the Facebook event for more details.
7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25
Arnold’s Bar and Grill, 210 East Eighth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Admission is free, reservations are not required.