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    Kentucky Shakespeare, WUOL to Record Radio Play
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    Kentucky Shakespeare and Louisville Public Media Station WUOL are about to try something new.

    “I’ve never done something like this. The station hasn’t done anything like this, either,” says Program Director for Classical 90.5 Daniel Gilliam.

    January 6, Gilliam will take the stage in The Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater as host for a production of George Bernard Shaw’s one-act play, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. “The play has a built-in narrator role, so I am essentially playing myself. I ‘set up’ what’s going to happen -- fulfilling my everyday role as host.”

    Along with Gilliam, four actors from Kentucky Shakespeare will present the comedy, which sees William Shakespeare, on his way to meet the “Dark Lady” to whom he has written sonnets, encounter Queen Elizabeth instead. He tries to convince the Queen to create a National Theater, but is not very successful.

    Here’s what’s new: The single production of Shaw’s play is to be recorded as a podcast for Louisville Public Media.

    A partnership among the three organizations – Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville Public Media and The Kentucky Center – is necessary to pull the show off.

    In his quest to extend Kentucky Shakespeare’s reach with more events throughout the year, beyond its well-known summer series, Producing Artistic Director Matt Wallace wanted to explore the idea of a radio show, which he noticed other Shakespeare companies doing to honor the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Thinking that it would be fun to do the short play by Shaw, who was “not a fan of Shakespeare,” he took the idea of a radio show to Gilliam, who quickly realized that his station wasn’t big enough for the endeavor.

    Instead of seating for 100 at the radio station, the Bomhard allows for 600 to experience the recording of the radio play.

    “We will be recording digitally, with the sound and feel of a live radio drama. The idea is similar to what you hear on A Prairie Home Companion, with everything on stage, and the listener visualizing what’s happening,” explains Gilliam. “Essentially, one take is the goal, but there may be some stopping and restarting. That sometimes happens. And one striking difference that night will be the very visible microphones on stage, capturing the sounds. Kentucky Shakespeare’s Kyle Ware will be the foley artist.”

    “You don’t have to know anything” to appreciate the brief comical play, says Wallace, who will appear in the production as The Beefeater. The evening will also include a preshow by the Concentus Quartet, and members of the Governor’s School for the Arts will perform in the lobby.

    “Some people don’t know that we are a touring arts provider in the Commonwealth, reaching 50,000 students per year,” Wallace says. “And this is just the beginning of more indoor events. We have the 2nd annual gala fundraiser on January 31st, the interactive ‘Shakespeare in Love’ at 21C. We’re doing a film series with the Baxter, from February through May, with five films of plays from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Stratford Festival. And Norton is sponsoring Shakespeare in the Library, a tour in March and April of all 18 Metro libraries. We’ll also be performing in the Shakespeare in the Parks tour, with a weekend, 90-minute version of MacBeth in April and May.”

    Wallace and Gilliam agree that the close relationship between classical music and Shakespeare means the partnership between their organizations will continue.

    Tickets for the radio play are free, but must be reserved by calling 584-7777. The play will be from 6:30 to 7:30, in the Bomhard Theater, on January 6, 2015.

    Keep up with all these events and more by following Kentucky Shakespeare and WUOL on Facebook.

    Photos: Kentucky Shakespeare and Shutterstock/Yongcharoen_kittiyaporn

    Kachina Shaw's picture

    About Kachina Shaw

    A transplanted Hawkeye, I've now lived in Louisville longer than any other city. Can't live without: my husband and fur babies, coal-black coffee, peanut M&Ms, sunflowers, monthly vacations, books, walking paths, massage and a big purse.

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