The fellowship enables me to work with BEDLAM as they teach Shakespeare to military veterans. As a part of the fellowship, it is one of my personal goals to begin teaching classes to other groups affected by violence, such as inner city youth, police and fire associations, and refugees. But for the first couple of months I am just learning the ropes and trying to assimilate the BEDLAM way of doing things. Along with Jenny Pacanowski, I will be helping to curate a few BEDLAM Outreach public presentations in the fall and winter of 2016.
BEDLAM Outreach is run by Stephan Wolfert, one of the most beloved members of the veterans artistic community in the country. His show 'Cry Havoc' encapsulates much of what I feel about the arts, especially Shakespeare. Interestingly, we both fell in love with Shakespeare through the same two plays, Richard III and Macbeth.
Every Monday night, 6pm to 9pm, we host free acting classes and writing workshops for military veterans at the Sheen Center on 18 Bleecker Street. If you are a veteran and want to check us out, please stop by and see us.
BEDLAM is an outstanding theater company. They are led by Eric Tucker and Andrus Nichols. Since arriving in New York a few years ago, they have taken critics and audiences by storm with inventive, smart, fast-paced interpretations of challenging classics, including George Bernard Shaw's SAINT JOAN, Shakespeare's HAMLET, and Kate Hammill's adaptation of Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.
Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal named Eric Tucker the director of the year in 2014. He also called their 2015 Midsummer Night's Dream the best interpretation of the play since Peter Brook's white box version opened in 1970.
Perhaps the best sense for the vibe around this company is that artists, audiences, and critics have been giving BEDLAM's work repeat viewings: this is the kind of small-scale stuff that carries the excitement of a Beach Boys song, where the fun surface is under-girded with a deep understanding of the classical structure and intelligent ideas that have informed theater for hundreds of years. Their plays are filled with sharp acting, playful excursions into the audience, and clever staging.
Check us out sometime.