University News

Zack Meyer, a Spring 2009 Theatre (B.A.) graduate, and Erin O'Connor, current Miss Illinois who is a junior theatre major, played Romeo and Juliet in Bard in the Barn.
[Download Print-Quality Image]

MFA student Danny Pancratz's "playing card."
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Bard in the Barn October 3

October 1, 2009

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - - Bard in the Bard, the fourth annual festival that showcases "unrehearsed Shakespeare" performance techniques, is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 on the grounds of the historic Flack Barn, 1200 North and 1600 East in rural Macomb. The event is held in conjunction with Barnacopia, a Macomb Convention and Visitors Bureau's celebration of barn history.

This year's festival will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a demonstration of the "unrehearsed" techniques by Western's students, including some Macomb High School students.

The plays are not rehearsed and the actors are only given their lines to study in advance, plus the last four syllables of the line proceeding their own. This leads to a surprising degree of spontaneity in performance, because many actors will not understand what is happening to their character in the plot of the play until they are onstage in front of the audience, explained Bill Kincaid, theatre professor and head of acting at Western.

"Audience participation is encouraged, and the actors are encouraged to work with the audience as much as possible. In a theatre that originally held large crowds of unruly people, plays were designed to communicate with all elements of that audience. In our 21st century attempt to recreate that dynamic, actors are trained to be fearless and daring in their work - - and they have to be," Kincaid added.

Western Illinois theatre and dance department students will perform "All's Well That Ends Well" at 1 p.m. and "King Lear" at 4 p.m. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to the day festival.

Bard "playing cards," like baseball cards, will return for this festival, featuring all of the participants and their performance history and trivia.

"Bard in the Barn" for Macomb was created by Kincaid in 2006 as a University Research Grant-sponsored project. The success of the event led to a Performing Art Society Grant.

An actor, director and writer, Kincaid received Western's College of Fine Arts and Communications' (COFAC) Creative Activity Award in 2008, and the COFAC Outstanding Teacher Award in 2009. He also received a Faculty Fellowship from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2008.

Larry A's will be serving pizza and soft drinks onsite throughout the day.

Tickets will be available on-site and in advance at the COFAC office, Browne Hall 117, (309) 298-1618, and at the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 201 S. Lafayette. Adult tickets are $8 for both plays or $5 for one play. Tickets for students - - elementary through college - - are $4 for both plays or $2 for one play. All proceeds will benefit the Lori Haney Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Western Illinois theatre and dance department.

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing