Love, betrayal, revenge, adventure, dreams, families, inheritance, power, tragedy, hope and happy endings: The core issues of Shakespeare’s world are ours, too, with the projected plans for the Keys Shakespeare Festival.
Said Richard Ericson, festival co-founder and producing artistic director, “Shakespeare’s canon is the beating heart of our mission of professional, world-class, island-inclusive theater right here in the Florida Keys. The living, breathing Bard at his very best.”
The festival’s debut 2023 season will include imaginative BriefBard productions of “Romeo & Juliet,” one of Will’s comedies TBA, and “Shakespeare Dames” — “… the Bard’s funniest, most complex, and engaging women played by Key West’s accomplished divas,” said Ericson, who conceived the latter show.
Longer-term, the festival is planning for mainstage productions in an 800-seat Festival Tent in Truman Waterfront Park that will join those of major Shakespeare companies — Alabama, Utah and Stratford — as signature tourist attractions and economic drivers.
Louis Raymond, festival co-founder and director of outreach and development said “Along the development road — ‘The Trajectory to the Tent’ — future BriefBard productions will slide comfortably into outdoor settings, local venues and school auditoriums up and down the Keys.
Brevity being “the soul of wit,” they’ll distill Will’s sweeping dramas and comedies into compact and welcoming experiences to delight general audiences as well as dovetail with school programs.” Keys Shakes looks forward to collaborating with local educators at all levels.
Combining entertainment and diverse culture, the festival’s future live shows will often feature star performers in contemporary stagings of the comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories. the Festival will entertain, inspire and educate, organizers said.