(2017) Have Will(iam), Will Travel — How Driftwood Theatre is making community connections through Shakespeare this summer

Poster for Driftwood’s Othello, Summer 2017

The Bard’s Bus Tour

The play, we know. The setting, no one could have prepared for. Driftwood Theatre’s redesign of Shakespeare’s Othello, the compelling tale of race, jealousy and revenge, transports the characters to the island of Cyprus in the year 1974. At this pivotal moment in modern history, Canadian Peacekeepers stationed on the island find themselves in a war zone overnight when tensions between Greece and Turkey suddenly came to a violent head. Into this turmoil enters the cast, who carry the audience with them on a journey through fear and harm that leads ultimately to a deeper understanding of peace and the human experience. As in past years, community accessibility will be a top priority in this experience with all shows operating on a Pay-What-You-Can or free admission platform. The Bard’s Bus Tour will be bringing this performance to 27 communities across Ontario, and with it will come it’s accompanying partner experience: The Cyprus Project.


The Cyprus Project

The Cyprus Project is a brand new initiative conceived by Driftwood’s artistic director Jeremy Smith, inspired by the recording, collecting and presenting of Canadian oral histories from Toronto-based company, FIXT POINT. Produced by FIXT POINT in partnership with Driftwood Theatre, The Cyprus Project is an interactive audio installation that is presented before each performance of Othello. It holds a collection of individual stories surrounding the Cyprus war of 1974, shedding light on the personal consequences of international conflicts, as well as Canada’s important role as peacekeepers engaged in this, one of the longest overseas missions in our country’s history. It removes an element of otherness between audience and this new backdrop for Othello’s story, giving voice to the people who really were there at the time.

Futhermore: Reading Jesse LaVercombe’s Resurrect

This summer Driftwood is extremely happy to welcome our first full-time playwright in residence, Jesse LaVercombe! This year’s winner of Trafalgar 24, Driftwood’s annual high-speed-high-stakes fundraising event, Jesse’s evolving play Resurrect will be toured to 4 different locations this season. Each location will host a reading of the play in a different stage of development. In this manner audiences will have the opportunity to listen and watch the artistic process in its most organic, transient form. A special thank you goes out to the generous support of the RBC Emerging Artist’s Project, without whom this experience with Jesse would not be possible!

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