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Repercussion Theatre and Shakespeare-in-the-Park in Montreal turns 25!

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--April 17, 2013.

larger_tempest_2008c_0.jpgRepercussion Theatre, a non-profit organization, is one of the few theatre companies in the world that tours professional, classically based productions to different communities. Over the past 25 years, the company has performed in many unique spaces throughout the U.S. and Canada.

In Montreal, Repercussion Theatre is best known for its Shakespeare-in-the-Park open-air summer tour. Every summer, since 1988, over 10,000 people have gathered in parks in and around the city, to delight in the language of the Bard. Audiences are comprised of all ages and all economic backgrounds — not only because the shows are offered free of charge but also because the outdoor touring program moves from park to park, making it accessible to everyone.

As well as staging classical theatre productions year round, the Repercussion Theatre also offers acting classes, professional workshops and educational outreach workshops.
History Highlights

Repercussion Theatre presented its first Shakespeare-in-the-Park festival in the summer of 1988, when a dedicated group presented four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to 800 people in Beaconsfield. 10 years later, under the artistic direction of Cas Anvar, Repercussion Theatre toured North America, playing several cities throughout the United States, while still calling Montreal home. The 1990s also saw the emergence of the company’s first Shakespeare-in-the-Schools tours, which visited a number of schools in Montreal and Ontario and, bringing its unique brand of the Bard to young audiences. In 2002, the company refocused on touring Montreal Parks and in 2004 experimented with bilingual productions, including a collaboration with the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde.

Repercussion Theatre returned to its roots in 2007 with its 1993 Romeo, Paul Hopkins, coming on as the company’s new Artistic Director. Revisiting Shakespeare’s classics, he generated a new approach to making Shakespeare accessible by placing the focus on artistic quality, holding a firm belief in the transformative power Shakespeare’s plays can have when produced with intelligence and craftsmanship. In 2008, he also reintroduced Shakespeare tours in schools and other community locations. Since then, the company has generated productions that have used a variety of theatrical practices that make our productions dynamic, intelligent and fun for all ages.

Why Shakespeare Today?

In a world dominated by mass and social media, Shakespeare, particularly when performed by professional actors, offers a refreshingly dignified perspective on the human experience. His themes are universal and timeless; they speak to our innate intelligence and sense of compassion for one another.

Shakespeare-in-the-Park and beyond. What we do:

Shakespeare-in-the-Park: We have toured professional productions [link to productions landing page] of Shakespeare’s plays to parks throughout the Montreal region for 25 years. Our productions are performed in the open air. Our venue is the community park. Our theatre, including stage, lights and sound equipment, can be set up and torn down the day of the show.Our productions are free. Our audiences arrive at their local parks with lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy Shakespeare under the stars. Approximately 10,000 people see our shows each summer.

Launching Careers: Hundreds of artists and technicians started their careers with Shakespeare-in-the-Park in Montreal. Our impressive alumni work all around the world, including at The Stratford Festival and in Los Angeles, Toronto and right here in Montreal.

Shakespeare-in-the-Community: Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare Unplugged series brings smaller scale, Shakespeare inspired productions to conventional and non-conventional venues.

Shakespeare Interactive: Our innovative, educational workshops are led by professional actors and are designed to introduce students to Shakespeare’s work.

Repercussion Theatre’s mission is to deliver professional, classically based, visually dynamic theatre that is accessible to all, regardless of income, culture, language, age or education. We bring the performing arts to people in their communities – reaching new audiences and inspiring in them, a lifelong love of theatre.

To be the centre for English-language classical theatre in Montreal (Canada), where young people go to start their careers, professional actors come to mentor youth, and the public comes to be transformed.