DAMASCUS — Farm Arts Collective will present a new, original site-specific production entitled Shakespeare on the Farm, created by the Farm Arts Collective ensemble and co-directed by Farm Arts Collective artistic director Tannis Kowalchuk and company member, Mimi McGurl. The performance will take place at Willow Wisp Organic Farm, located in Damascus, PA, on August 3, 4 and 10, 11, all shows at 6:30 PM.

Shakespeare on the Farm invites audiences of all ages to take a guided walk across a working organic farm to witness a series of scenes and soliloquies inspired by the characters and stories from William Shakespeare’s most famous plays.

Spectators will gather at the Farm Arts Collective greenhouse on Willow Wisp Organic Farm, and be led on a farm tour by Titania (played by Tannis Kowalchuk), queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Along the way, the audience will encounter other famous characters from the Shakespeare canon, performed by the Farm Arts Collective players, fondly referred to as “The Rudest of the Mechanicals” by the barker/musician (Doug Rogers).

Director Tannis Kowalchuk creates experimental original theatre works and innovative interpretations of classics. In 2017 she created and presented Courage based on Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” produced by NACL Theatre at Apple Pond Farm and Governors Island in NYC.

This year, under the auspices of the newly formed Farm Arts Collective, she and the ensemble have created a montage of scenes and characters from some of the most famous Shakespearean tragedies and comedies including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, The Tempest and Macbeth

Designed for audiences of all ages, the devised performance will deliver a theatre experience full of original and early music, stilt-walking, drumming, featuring a Madrigal choir and the signature Farm Arts Collective stilt walkers .

Performed by a cast of 20, the visually evocative performance will take place in various locations on the farm and offer a delightfully new perspective on many of the iconic characters and plays known to many.

But audiences do not need to be familiar with the plays in order to enjoy Shakespeare on the Farm. Drawing parallels between human nature, the cycle of life, and the forces that shape land, weather and the natural world itself, the performance starts and ends with the concept that “All the World’s a Stage” and is designed to give an opportunity for spectators “perchance to dream” a little.