Making Light Productions and Southern Shakespeare’s Bardlings Youth Company Announce Partnership

[Tallahassee, FL / Sept. 11, 2019] Making Light Productions is delighted to announce a partnership with Southern Shakespeare Company’s Bardlings Youth Company for the 2019-2020 theatre season. This new partnership will allow Making Light Productions to provide a “home” theatre for the company to rehearse twice per week, and the Bardlings – under the direction of Robin Jackson – will facilitate a weekly acting class for Making Light students, “Much Ado About Acting” on Wednesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 PM. In addition, the Bardlings’ winter showcase will take place at the Making Light Theatre 7:00 PM December 6-7, 2019.

“Everyone at Making Light is so excited about this partnership,” says executive director Juliet Yaques, “because the missions of our nonprofits align so perfectly. Southern Shakespeare Company, through the Bardlings, provides exceptional theatre education for young people. Also, the professional company has made a mission of ensuring that the arts belong to all through their amazing performances, from A Town Divided to A Mini-Midsummer Night’s Dream to their annual Spring Free Shakespeare Festival. We are proud to be partnered with such a prestigious organization.”

About Making Light Productions
Making Light Productions is a 501c3 nonprofit with the mission of providing the highest quality inclusive performing arts education to children, teens and adults of all abilities – as well as jobs to teens and adults with disabilities. Established in 2016, MLP offers private lessons, group classes, day and summer camps and workshops in theatre, music, dance and art. In 2019, the Making Light Theatre opened — a fully accessible 100-seat performance space designed to ensure that all performances are inclusive of all performers.

About Southern Shakespeare Company and The Bardlings
Established in 2014, the mission of Southern Shakespeare Company (SSC) is to make Shakespeare accessible and fun, cultivate an appreciation of the arts through educational programs, training, and their annual free Shakespeare in the Park Festival.

The Bardlings are the junior acting troupe of SSC and an integral part of SSC’s professional instruction, education and training mission, seeking to develop an understanding and fondness for the study and performance of Shakespeare and classic drama in today’s youth.

“Our goal is to develop a comprehension of Shakespeare’s classics, while also ensuring that our young artists truly enjoy the subject matter and have fun in the process,” shared Robin Jackson, Southern Shakespeare’s Director of Education. “Through exciting and innovative productions, open workshops, and community theatre based field trips, we seek to engage students and foster dialogue regarding the importance of the creative arts in our schools, our communities and our lives.”

Mandi Broadfoot, Managing Director
Making Light Productions

Robin Jackson, Director
SSC Bardlings Youth Company
Samantha Strickland

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Toil and trouble, foul and fair, sound and fury all await Macbeth and his lady

Awake! Awake! Ring the alarm bell! Murder! Treason!

“Game of Thrones”?

Better still, ‘tis “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s tragedy of fate, free will and political ambition. The Southern Shakespeare Company’s gripping performance is the centerpiece of an exciting weekend of Renaissance-themed entertainment.

“The Scottish Play” — as it is known due to a supposed ancient curse on those who say the name of the play aloud — has been performed countless times since the early 17th century. “Macbeth” is the Bard’s shortest tragedy, but it packs plenty of intrigue, murder and moral takeaways into its five acts — and this traditional re-telling by director James Alexander Bond keeps the timing tight, with brief breaks between scenes.

As the sun sets, the sounds of Cascades Park — talking, laughter, rolling wheels — give way to a trio of witches chanting in the wind and the knell of alarms and late night knocking. For a few brief moments mid-play, the frogs and crickets harmonized with an owl, and stage lighting caught flitting moths, turning them to drifting sparks from a cauldron’s fire.

Fresh from military victories abroad, Macbeth (veteran stage and screen actor Marc Singer) and Banquo (Dan Kahn, who played “Macbeth” in the recent Mickee Faust production) return home to Scotland.

During their journey, they meet a trio of witches (Patricia Carrico, Miriam Dady and Katherine M. Ruiz) who share three prophecies of wealth and power with the conquering heroes.

Macbeth, they foretell, will be named Thane of Cawdor (a sort of high-ranking lord) and later, King of Scotland. Banquo won’t be king himself, but will father future generations of kings.

Shortly after this encounter, two men from the kingdom come bearing the eerie news that Macbeth has, in fact, been named Thane of Cawdor for his heroism on the battlefield.

Convinced, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth (Laura Johnson) decide to hasten the second prophecy and murder the king (Duncan Hoehn).

Singer, as Macbeth, a highly accomplished actor, expertly walks the line of stability before becoming completely consumed with guilt. His anguish washes over the audience as he cries out in repentance.

Laura Johnson is enthralling as Lady Macbeth. Her descent into madness powerfully signals the beginning of the end of their time in power.

It’s not all wailing and gnashing of teeth, though. There’s also plenty of action, with lots of skilled swordplay by fight choreographer Jason Paul Tate, who also directed last year’s energetic clashes in “Romeo and Juliet.”

And though Singer may no longer be the young swashbuckler we remember from the big screen’s “Beastmaster,” he still looks at home swinging a sword, and he moves with grace and skill through multiple fight sequences. He’s especially convincing with a dagger.

The inventive music and sound design by Ben Gunter and Stephen Hodges creates a rich backdrop for the actors. A small orchestra — including trumpet, flute and hurdy-gurdy – brings the Elizabethan atmosphere to life. Music rises and falls with the mood of scenes. Be sure to steal a peek at the musicians, building the atmosphere and creating sound effects live using a string drum, thunder tube and other instruments.

Tallahassee’s Cascades Park is the perfect host to another year of this springtime tradition. (Don’t forget sunglasses and bug spray to maximize your experience.)

And come early Friday and Saturday to enjoy the 5:45 p.m. short production of “The Scottish Play” by the Southern Shakespeare’s “Bardlings” troupe, and to soak in Renaissance fun and flavors.

If You Go

What: Southern Shakespeare Company presents “Macbeth”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s performance will be ASL interpreted.

Where: Cascades Park Amphitheater

Cost: Free


Note: Some scenes may be too intense for young children. Consider the production PG-13.