The Shakespeare Forum’s El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival

    May 31, 2018 – June 16, 2018 all-day
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    215 E 99th St
    New York, NY 10029
    The Shakespeare Forum's El Barrio's Shakespeare Festival @ New York | New York | United States

    The Shakespeare Forum’s El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival

    May 31 – June 16

    Second Annual El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival Presents Three Weeks Of Professional, Community And Student Performances, Workshop And Classes

    You’ll find the schedule farther down along this page

    Tickets available at
    All Performances: $20 general admission, Free for individuals under the age of 18.
    All Student Performances are Free.

    El Barrio’s Artspace PS109
    215 East 99th Street
    Accessible from the Q, 6 to 96th Street and the M101, M102, M103 to 99th Street.

    MAY 10, 2018 – NEW YORK, NY 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 seeks 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.”

    Following The Shakespeare Forum’s acclaimed productions of Henry V in 2016, and Titus in 2017, Lear continues the organization’s investigation of how to create immediate and relevant theatre that reflects contemporary topics impacting modern audiences. In this production, the focus will be on age, familial discord and the ever-present spectre of mortality. Lear seeks to challenge concepts of classical theatre and encourage audiences to actively reflect on recognizable patterns in modern life. As with all of The Shakespeare Forum’s productions, Lear engages community members through a collaborative exploratory process as well as open rehearsals.

    “The project seeks to destigmatize something we all face and feel on a molecular level- familial strife and mortality” remarks Bruun-Moss. “By utilizing Shakespeare’s text, we are able to present universal themes and, hopefully, invite audiences into a world they inherently understand.”

    The Lear cast features Desirée Baxter*, Mélisa Breiner-Sanders*, Whitney Busch*, Denny Desmarais, Frankie DiCiaccio*, Antonio Disla, Alex Fletcher, Adam Goodman, Alenka Kraigher*, Melody Lam, Rami Margron*, Tyler Moss*, and Harry Waller. (*actors appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association).

    Free Student Performances

    Through El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Forum is providing students from each of the organization’s education programs with the opportunity to share their work with the public. High school students from Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics will present Cymbeline, 6th graders from PS 108 will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Shakespeare Forum’s after school program will present a variety of scenes and monologues, and participants of The Shakespeare Forum’s Youth Forum will present Twelfth Night.

    Other Performances and workshops

    During El Barrio’s Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Forum is excited to welcome other companies to share their work with the East Harlem community.  The Funny School of Good Acting, Jarrod Bates, Turn to Flesh Productions, and Hamlet Isn’t Dead will all offer performances during the Festival.

    The Shakespeare Forum will also host free, drop-in workshops on listening onstage, basic circus tricks, playwriting in verse, rhetoric, relaxation, and Shakespearean improv. Workshops are subject to change.

    Festival Schedule: The Shakespeare Forum’s Lear

    May 31st through June 16th
    Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm
    Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm
    Tuesday, June 5th at 7:30 pm

    Post-show Q&A sessions after performances on Saturday, June 2nd; Tuesday, June 5th; Thursday, June 7th; and Friday, June 15th.

    PS 108 6th Graders perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream and
    The Shakespeare Forum After School program presents scenes and monologues
    Friday, June 1st at 6:00 pm

    The Funny School of Good Acting Commedia Company
    Sunday, June 3rd at 7:00 pm
    Rated R for language and content

    Turn to Flesh Productions presents Tale as Old as Time
    Romeo and Juliet meet Cupid and Psyche in this evening of Shakespeare and new verse scenes
    Monday, June 4th at 8:00 pm

    Turn to Flesh Productions presents Monthly MUSE Program
    An open workshop for playwrights and actors
    Wednesday, June 6th at 7:00 pm

    Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics Drama Program presents Cymbeline
    Friday, June 8th at 6:00 pm
    Saturday, June 9th at 12:30 pm
    Sunday, June 10th at 4:00 pm

    Turn to Flesh productions presents True as You Can Be
    A workshop to step out of your stereotype and try on roles that reflect who you truly are
    Monday, June 11th at 7:00 pm

    Jarrod Bates presents Out of the Box and Onto Your Face
    A solo political comedy-commedia dell’arte-extravaganza in 5 masks
    Tuesday, June 12th at 7:00 pm
    (Rated R for language and content)

    Hamlet Isn’t Dead’s 5th Birthday Celebration
    A Birthday Celebration for NYC’s 648th-best Theatre Company.
    With live music, cheap drinks, and performances by Hamlet Isn’t Dead, As You Will, and more!
    Wednesday, June 13th at 7:30 pm

    The Shakespeare Youth Forum present Twelfth Night
    Friday, June 15th at 6:00 pm
    Saturday, June 16th at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm

    More information:


    Founded in 2009, New York’s critically acclaimed The Shakespeare Forum was created to inspire artists and non-artists alike to find their creative voices through theatre and the works of Shakespeare by offering free or low-cost classes, workshops, and performances. The organization provides open workshops every Tuesday and Thursday for people to work, watch others work, network, and learn about Shakespearean stagecraft. Past productions include Hamlet and TITUS (directed by Sybille Bruun-Moss), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Tyler Moss), and Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Merchant of Venice, and Henry V (co-directed by Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and Sybille Bruun-Moss).

    Education Programs

    Since 2013, to help address the gap in arts education, The Shakespeare Forum has offered free and low-cost customized workshops to schools, particularly District 75 and Title 1 Schools, in need of theatre arts programming. In 2015, the organization also launched Youth Forum, a weekly 90-minute class that introduces young people to some of the most iconic characters in drama, and to some of the greatest poetry in the English language. This past year, the organization initiated an after-school program at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109.