Acorn Productions, presenter of the Naked Shakespeare performance series, announces that the monthly "Sonnets and Soliloquies" series at the Wine Bar on Wharf Street will end with the performance on June 4th. The 5-year run of performances has featured text selections from virtually all of Shakespeare's plays, with a changing cast of company members from the Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble performing sonnets, short speeches and scenes in contemporary settings with modern cue lines delivered by audience members. The Sonnets and Soliloquies Grand Finale performance features 20 actors performing over 2 dozen pieces ranging from the comedy of Falstaff and Don Armado to the pathos of Hamlet and Richard II. The performance is a fundraising event for the upcomingAll's Well On The Waterfront performance installation at the Portland Company Complex, part of the Portland Festival Fringe at the end of June. Admission for the show is free with a suggested donation of $8. Call Acorn Productions at 854-0065 or visit www.acorn-productions.org for more information.
Acorn's decision to end the monthly Wine Bar shows is part of a larger transformation the company is undergoing that will see more focus on high level training opportunities for actors at the Acorn Acting Academy, including the roll-out of the new Acorn Shakespeare Conservatory, a two-year program for local actors who wish to immerse themselves in working with Shakespeare's text. The Naked Shakespeare series will continue to produce free and low-cost events in traditional and non-traditional venues, with a focus on small, flexible shows featuring adapatations of plays that can be performed in any space large or small. Tentative plans for Naked Shakespeare's next season include a production of The 4 Hamlets, which will be available to tour to schools, a shortened version of Troilus and Cressida, and an evening of sonnets presented as the story of a love triangle. "While we are saddened to end the Wine Bar series," says Acorn's Producing Director Michael Levine, "this decision will allow us to focus on the exciting new projects we will be developing as an offshoot of our new Shakespeare Conservatory Program."
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