El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival

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The Shakespeare Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating empowered communities through education and performance, announces the 2018 El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival. The three-week festival will present professional and student performances, and aims to help foster the actors and audiences of tomorrow. El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival will kick off on May 31 with the premiere of “Lear,” directed by the Shakespeare Forum’s executive director, Sybille Bruun-Moss. The festival will also feature free student performances by young actors from across New York City. The Shakespeare Forum has trained each of the young performers through the organization’s various education programs. All performances will be presented at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. “The Shakespeare Forum and El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 provide an artistic and literal home for current and future generations of artists and actors,” said Tyler Moss, artistic director of the Shakespeare Forum. “This festival is a celebration of voices and how we can give words life and truth.” “Lear” continues the organization’s investigation of how to create immediate and relevant theater that reflects contemporary topics impacting modern audiences. In this production, the focus will be on age, familial discord and the ever-present specter of mortality. “Lear” challenges concepts of classical theater and encourages audiences to actively reflect on recognizable patterns in modern life. “The project seeks to destigmatize something we all face and feel on a molecular level — familial strife and mortality,” said Bruun-Moss. “By utilizing Shakespeare’s text, we are able to present universal themes and, hopefully, invite audiences into a world they inherently understand.”