Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Bard's Day Set For May First

The 4th annual Bard's Day Dinner Theater and Renaissance Feast celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday will be held at Thomas Andrews Restaurant May 1 at 5 pm. Bard's Day -- produced by Dave Johnson, Steve Gwilt, and Chef Scott Brown at Thomas Andrews -- is a fundraiser for The Stephens Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. The Stephens Center has recently moved into new facilities, and proceeds from the event will benefit the capital campaign for the new location in Livingston.  The doors to Thomas Andrews located on West Broad Street will open at 4:00 p.m.  Organizers say this year's event will have some new features including:

* Approximately 20 actors performing scenes from a dozen Shakespeare plays

* Bryan Symphony Director Dan Alcott playing Renaissance pieces on cello

* Diane Glasgow's Cookeville Camarata recorder ensemble playing songs from Shakespeare plays

* Charles and Laurie Long performing an authentic madrigal

* Rennaissance feast menu including a whole roasted pig, Cornish hens, turkey legs; herb-roasted parsnips and potatoes, and a variety of English-style vegetables; bread pudding, and other period desserts.

Shakespeare's actual birthday is April 23, but the people putting on the event say they were looking at the schedule of events around Cookeville, and May Day turned out to be the best choice for the event.

This year's program includes scenes from comedies like Merry Wives of Windsor, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Also scenes from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Henry IV Part 1, The Tempest, Othello, and several sonnets rendered by Mary Pashley.

Actors include WCTE General Manager Becky Magura; Tennessee Tech Drama Director Mark Creter; Wesley Foundation Director Charles Long;  Cookeville Cultural Arts Coordinator Steve Gwilt; Tennessee Tech French Professor Debbie Barnard; Actor/Director Dave Davidson; and actors Evan Montgomery, Eliot Cunningham, Simone O’Dell, Beth Thompson, Sandy Johnson, Travis Flatt, Phil Horn, Sean Dietz, Matt Wilson, Emily Smith, Josh Winscott, Lisa Shin, and Alex Mattingly. 

Tickets are $35 per person, and include dinner and entertainment, with dessert and coffee at intermission. Tickets are available at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center Box office, and Thomas Andrews on the day of the show. Advance tickets purchases are encouraged to aid the cooks in planning the feast. All net proceeds after food costs go to the Stephens Center. Seating is limited. A cash bar will be provided.