Main Street Theater brings Shakespeare home with virtual 'BYOBard' festival

Main Street Theater brings Shakespeare home with virtual festival

Main Street Theater: Book of Will
Often a home to plays by and about Shakespeare, Main Street Theater now delivers the Bard to viewers' homes on Zoom with BYOBard.  Photo by RicOrnelProductions

For Houston theater lovers, summer usually means Shakespeare, especially Shakespeare at Miller Outdoor Theater. But in these COVID-19 times with the annual Shakespeare Festival postponed until the summer of 2021 and Miller remaining closed until at least September, Main Street Theater steps up to deliver some at home Shakespeare, calling it BYOBard.

This new live but online performance event features a cast of Main Street stars and beyond. They’ll perform some of their favorite Shakespeare passages and monologues live on Zoom over two nights, airing July 27 and August 10.

Set to get their bard-on are some Main Street favorite actors including Callina Anderson, Elizabeth Marshall Black, Rutherford Cravens, Connor Flynn, Luis Galindo, Alexandria Garrett, Brad Goertz, Joel Grothe, Jessie Hyder, Bonnie Langthorn, Leslie Lenert, Shanae’a Moore, Rachel Ollagnon, Tom Prior, Joel Sandel, Skyler Sinclair, Jordan Tannous, Blake Weir, Nathan Wilson, with more to be announced.

For the July 27 performance, Alexandria Garrett delivers some cool summer relief with some scenes from The Winter’s Tale. Connor Flynn gives us a bit of the Scottish play (spoiler alert: Macbeth) in Spanish. Brad Goertz fights on with Henry V. Skyler Sinclair gets tragically romantic with Romeo and Juliet.

Joel Sandel travels to Troy for Troilus & Cressida. Blake Weir reaches an epiphany in Twelfth Night. Rachel Ollagnon acts up a storm in The Tempest. Bonnie Langthorn Shakes it up As You Like It. Tom Prior demands a pound of flesh in The Merchant of Venice. Rutherford Cravens finds there’s much Comedy of Errors. And Luis Galindo already revealed on social media he’ll be pushing for some family-friendly avunculicide as the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

As this will be a two-night Zoom event, there is that chance for some audience interaction. Main Street invites audience members to submit their own request for beloved Shakespeare soliloquy and passages by August 3 for the August 10 performance. There might even be time for some audience readings from the virtual balconies, as well.

Both BYOBard live events are free and you don’t need a Zoom account to join. While the July 27 performance does not require advance registration, but you’ll need to register for the August 10 event. Visit Main Street Theater for links and further details