Broadcasting The Bard

For Rick Dildine, executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, all the world really is a stage. The festival already takes Shakespeare to STL’s parks, schools, streets and other unique locations throughout the city; this year, it’s making an appearance on public television, as well.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is one of only 10 Shakespeare festivals across the nation to receive a competitive grant to implement local programming to coincide with PBS’ “Shakespeare Uncovered” series. Dildine has partnered with nine network to produce three segments on the making of this summer’s production of “Twelfth Night.” The segments go behind the scenes with Dildine as he collaborates with the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra to create original music for the show, and works with the show’s actors and designers to prepare other aspects of the production.

“Shakespeare Uncovered” presents an in-depth look at some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, featuring film clips and scenes performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, along with interviews with actors, directors and scholars.

Inclusion in the PBS series isn’t the only thing new for the Shakespeare Festival this year. “Twelfth Night” will mark the first time the company has used live music and actors playing instruments. a reconfigured stage will wrap around some audience members, creating a “groundlings” section like the one at The Globe, and areas in the surrounding woods will be lit to appear as part of the play’s setting.

“Shakespeare Uncovered” and the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis feature originally aired on the Nine Network in January and February, and will rebroadcast in May. For dates and times, visit ninenet.org, or watch online at pbs.org. “Twelfth Night” runs May 24-June 16 in Shakespeare Glen at Forest Park. More info at sfstl.com.

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