Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
July 23, 2024
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Living with Shakespeare: Bard’s Bus Tour exits (pursued by bear)

<p>Jeremy Smith (Dahlia Katz photo)</p>
Jeremy Smith (Dahlia Katz photo)

After 30 years, the PEC-based Driftwood Theatre’s annual Bard’s Bus Tour is marking its final season. Under the guidance of artistic director D. Jeremy Smith, the company has brought classical theatre, primarily Shakespeare, to Ontarians in locations big and small in an outdoor setting.

From his undergraduate days at Queen’s, Mr. Smith wanted to bring theatrical productions to some of the more remote corners of Ontario. And so, with the consent and assistance of his family he formed the non-profit Driftwood Theatre, and hit the road with a Shakespeare production every summer since.

With generations of family roots in the County, Driftwood has appeared here every summer for 15 years.

After the reflection that the pandemic pause made possible, Mr. Smith feels he has accomplished what he set out to do. He is looking ahead to a new focus for the company, developing and producing original works.

This year’s tour offers a farewell narrative, entitled “Living with Shakespeare,” a one-man show featuring Mr. Smith himself on the stage, reflecting on his longstanding relationship to the Bard. Written with long-term collaborator Steven Gallagher, the play tells the story of a friendship, weaving together lines from Shakespeare with personal reflection.

“Communal storytelling,” is his model for the theatre, something that the outdoor setting enhances. The play is accessible to all: “if you hated him in high school—great! If you loved him in high school—great! If you’ve got kids—great! It’s funny, not super long, it moves quickly. If you’ve ever had a long friendship, this is a story that we all share.”

Presented by County Stage at the Eddie Pavilion, “Living with Shakespeare” premieres August 9th, with two shows on the 10th.  For tickets, visit: driftwoodtheatre.com.

This text is from the Volume 193 No. 31 edition of The Picton Gazette
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