‘Bard Talk’ reveals Shake on the Lake experience at Groveland prison


Members of the Shake on the Lake theater troupe have spent the past week inside Groveland Correctional Facility.

The troupe, which will begin to stage Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” throughout the Genesee Valley in the coming week, presented a series of theatrical workshops and helped inmates prepare a theatrical piece of their own.

The prison program was part of “Voices UnCaged,” a project created by Shake’s Interim Artistic Director Chad Bradford that brings theater arts into prisons. The project was awarded a Creative Community Fellowship through the National Arts Strategies organization, which supports the development of community outreach projects. 

Groveland is among the first sites to take part in “Voices UnCaged.”

Bradford, in his fifth season with Shake on the Lake, will discuss the experience at Groveland as part of a “Bard Talk,” scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight in Stoody Hall at the Silver Lake Institute, Perry and Embry avenues, Silver Lake. Admission is free.

The talk will feature a conversation among the artists who participated in “Voices UnCaged” and what they learned from the experience.

The residency at Groveland took place evenings from July 18 to 23. Theater educators including Bradford, Shake on the Lake founder Josh Rice and theater artist Vinny Mraz went to Groveland after daily rehearsals for this summer’s “Twelfth Night” production.

Shake will perform “Twelfth Night” at Groveland Correctional on Aug. 5, the summer’s 13th performance.

“Shake on the Lake if very grateful that Chad has brought his project to the area,” said Shake Managing Director Pilar McKay.

Twelfth Night,” a comedy of love and confusion, will open with a performance at 6:30 p.m. July 28 at the Wadsworth Homestead in Geneseo, and be followed the next night by a 6:30 p.m. show at Williams Park Gazebo in Dansville. Then, on July 30, a noon performance is scheduled at nearby Letchworth State Park.

Additional touring performances are 6 p.m. July 30 at Darien Lakes State Park, Darien Center; 6 p.m. July 31 at Orleans County Marine Park, Point Breeze; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at Arcade Village Park, Arcade; 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Attica Historical Society; and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at SYI Park, Springville.

The main stage performances are Aug 4 to 6 at Perry Public Beach, Silver Lake. Times are 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4 and 5 and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6.

For more information, go to http://www.shakeonthelake.org/ .