“You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;
The blood and courage that renowned them
Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.”
-Henry V, by William Shakespeare
Blood & Courage:
Chesapeake Shakespeare’s Under-30 Company Starts 2016
with a New Name — and an Exciting Original Production
BALTIMORE (January 14, 2016) – Blood & Courage, a Baltimore-based ensemble of emerging artists launched by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, challenges the notion that there is only “one right way” to perform the classics.
This month, Blood & Courage members will present UNSCENE, an original adaptation of scenes typically cut from productions of Shakespeare’s plays. UNSCENE will feature a cast of seven women using performance techniques associated with commedia dell’arte, including masks, clowning skills, improvisation, and audience involvement.
“I launched the Blood & Courage company to provide an educational opportunity for early career professional artists,” says Ian Gallanar, Founding Artistic Director of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. “In theatre, the craft and business are learned by practicing, and I worry that there are not enough professional opportunities for young artists to get that experience. So we created an environment where they can experiment, stretch their skills, take pride in their achievements, and learn from their mistakes – in other words, a place where they can grow.”
Blood & Courage productions are mounted entirely by artists who are in their 20s, from the scripting, costuming, and performing to the fund-raising, promoting, and ticket-selling. They receive mentoring and encouragement from Chesapeake Shakespeare Company staff and professionals.
Last year, the group debuted as the Under-30 Company with a performance of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Now with a new name inspired by a line from Henry V — Blood & Courage, and the confidence that comes with some experience, the ensemble is taking on a more experimental work. UNSCENE is being adapted and directed by Seamus Miller, 26, a Baltimore actor who studied Theatre Arts and English at Cornell University. He has had several professional roles on stages in the region and appeared with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Titus Andronicus in 2015.
Four performances of UNSCENE are scheduled: January 29 and 30 and February 5 and 6, 2016, at 9pm, in the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Theater, 7 South Calvert Street at Redwood Street, Baltimore, 21202. Tickets are $10 (cash only) at the door.
For details about UNSCENE and Blood & Courage, click here, or contact Amanda Bennett, the ensemble’s spokesperson, at email@example.com or Robby Rose, production manager, at robroseCSC@gmail.com.
For more information about Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, contact Jean Thompson at 410-244-8571, ext. 106, or Thompson@chesapeakeshakespeare.com.
Photo by Seamus Miller.