‘Shakespeare in The Park’ moves online with great success

Michael Wingard, as "Edgar" and Treston Mack, as "Edmund" battle with knives surrounded by chorus in a fight scene from Playhouse 2000's "Shakespeare In The Park" production of "King Lear." The livestream production, which was seen Friday night, is now available at CaillouxPerformingArts.com/Live.

Proving that the power of the arts simply will not be denied, the cast and crew of "King Lear," this year's "Shakespeare In the Park" project, overcame multiple obstacles on the way to finally bringing the bard to life once again. With the help of local businessman Aaron Yates, of Kerrville Photo, the Playhouse 2000 production was "livestreamed" to a wide audience on Friday.

The presentation was the culmination of months of stop-and-start efforts by a group of talented volunteers who never flagged in their dedication to their performance.

Originally planned to been seen in Louise Hays Park during the first weekend in June, the production stalled when in-person rehearsal became impossible in April.

A combination of "Zoom" rehearsals and carefully planned small-group gatherings allowed the ensemble to prepare for a live presentation to be held on the lawn of the Cailloux City Center over the July 4th weekend.  However, a proclamation from the Governor's office meant cancelling that performance at the eleventh hour.

With some hasty planning and a lot of additional support from volunteer hands, lighting and sound technicians, camera operators, and some last-minute cast replacements, P2K quickly set out to salvage the production with a live and recorded on-line presentation.

Starting Sunday, the entire production was moved to the stage of the Cailloux Theater, and quick preparations were made to host the show via Facebook Live and YouTube.

The stage set was moved indoors, much of the show's stage action was re-blocked to allow for camera angles, and two members of the cast were added to fill in for a pair who could not re-schedule for the new performance dates.

Meanwhile, KerrvillePhoto.com moved their livestream equipment into the hall and set up the extensive structure necessary to broadcast the show.

"King Lear" went live on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the stream was enjoyed by more than 1,500 visitors, some from across the state and even across the country.

The resulting recording of "King Lear" is still available to be viewed on the web page for the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts: CaillouxPerformingArts.com/live.

Playhouse 2000's production of the comedy "The Outsider" is also still performing in the VK Garage Theater through July 26, with admissions strictly limited to provide for appropriate distancing of the audience.

In accord with the Governor's order, face coverings are required for the audience, especially when arriving, exiting, and during intermission.  Seating has been arranged so that no pair of sold seats are within the recommended six feet of “social distance” from another pair.

The show will be presented by an all-volunteer cast and crew Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.  All seats are priced at $22, and the maximum capacity of the auditorium has been reduced from 110 to just 32.

Reservations are recommended, and can be made online at CaillouxPerformingArts.com, or by calling the Cailloux Box Office at 896-9393. Any party larger than two guests should call so that specific seating arrangements can be made.

Playhouse 2000 manages, on behalf of the City of Kerrville, the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, including the Cailloux Theater and the VK Garage Theater.  For more information, including details on volunteering with or auditioning for P2K, readers can visit www.playhouse2000.com.

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