Leader: Rebecca Ennals
Date: Monday, Jan.4, 1:002:45
Rebecca gave a history of pop up shakespeare AT the SF Shakespeare Festival
Around time of the festival’s 30th anniversary in 2012, the festival decided to take
advantage of the creation of “parklets” in SF (she described a parklet, and where you can
find them in SF)
wouldn’t it be fun to do “Shakespeare in the Parklet” so they decided to do 30 plays in 30
daysthat year they chose plays from Sf Shakes perf historythey went to a variety of
locationsthey obtained no permissions, and in terms of marketing just used facebook
and twitterthey found the miniperformances acquired an audience that followed the
performances to different parklets. They used a variety of performers ranging from
students to union actorsthe project ended with a big bonfire performance;celebration.
There were some interesting adventurestimes when the audience was confused about
whether it was a performance, for example.
Rebecca showed photos from parklet scenesthe people who began to follow, finding out
that some spaces which appear to be public are actually private, that in the moment stuff
created cool moments (as an example, being late forced the actor playing Romeo to
scream “Juliet” across a park as he ran to make the performancet)the immediacy of
doing Julius Caeser in front of the city capitol building.
There was also the point o connection of putting Falstaff in front of a brewerya homeless
person threw himself in front of Falstaff, for example.
There was a questionusual length of the playlets? No longer than 10 minutes.
It was good experience for many of the company’s equity actors, because it created more
work when the park show can only use a few union actors.
The Festival did the park lets again in 2013 and 2014 In 2014 the festival did sorcery as
a theme to match up with Macbeth, the summer park showalso expanded to other cities
that Shakespeare and the Park perform inthere was mixed success with this addition-
The idea of environmental staging has influenced some of the festival’s educational
Some of the aesthetic benefits is that the actors learn to take their staging to the
audiencelearning to be flexible and make changes in the moment
Maryssa Wanless, who directed some of the park lets, chimed in on how as a director,
you learn to work on moments and beats rather than be concerned about staging, since
the aging may have to change at the last minute.
Question were you able to track who was coming to park show because of parklet
Rebeccanot really, but anecdotally, she felt that it had an effect, and in that first year it
was effective in garnering even more press than the festival usually received.
Question about promotionRebecca said mainly casual promotion through facebook and
twitter because a lot of scheduling was on the fly, and some people followed the
performances only on facebook, without coming to see them.
More advanced planning the following year made promotion easier.
Question how did you pick scenes?
Rebecca The first year, tried to choose scenes more familiar to the audience, that was
useful because of accessibilitylast year, and that was more successful than the more
obscure scenes of last summer.
Question did you pass the hat? Rebecca we’re not allowed to because of equity rules-
instead the festival distributed flyers and postcards.
Question Did you perform rain or shine? Yes,but we had no raindid have cold and foggy
performances like the one for King Lear-
Question did you inform venue? Rebecca definitely talked to restaurants for the goodwill
Questionwhat other venues did you use beside parklets parts of parks, the back of Coit
Tower, Farmers mMarkets (although you need permission for those)
Other issues got kicked out of one space because of weapons, you need permits for
public transportation performances.
A project for the intern company in the 2nd year was to create pop ups in Yerba Buena
Rebecca acknowledged Thea Rogers is tweetingfor the STA conference, and Sean
Hagerty helped out with this practicum.
For the practicumNine scenes were assigned to groups to create popupschoose a
venue today, rehearse on the fly over the next 2 days and perform wednesday afternoon.
There is little time to rehearse and larger groups so that there is freedom to perform or
not, performance venue choices need to be between Fairmont and Grace Cathedral
Okay to do pop ups in the hotel, during the final performances the whole group will follow
each other from scene to scene, making sure to clarify it is for the STA conference.
and do some preliminary rehearsal