Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL) is Tacoma’s only resident Shakespeare company since 1999. This traveling troupe of performers strives, through the magic of imagination and innovative performance, to inspire and excite audiences of all ages to engage with the works of William Shakespeare. It is a noble undertaking in the age of Netflix, and a boon for those who already like their entertainment “live.”
SITPL is “taking the fear out of Shakespeare” by offering educational opportunities and staging fresh productions of the Bard’s work in non-traditional and outdoor venues in the South Sound. Under the leadership of founder and artistic director, Kristie Worthey, the theatre company has recast Shakespeare’s dramas with contemporary situations and characters (Macbeth as a presidential hopeful; Juliet as a Generation Y teen). For a production of Titus Andronicus this fall, SITPL will adopt a Surrealist approach using digital artwork by Tacoma artists and music by local composers. Spaceworks Tacoma is supporting the new production with a residency at 913 Pacific Ave., which will provide free rehearsal and performance space from September to November. During the residency, the company has tentative plans to offer one workshop with Royal Shakespeare Company vocal coach, Andrew Wade. Rehearsals are always free and open to the public.
SITPL‘s work has been recognized on the national and international levels; this year, Worthey was chosen to be a panelist at the Shakespeare Theater Association of America’s annual conference at the Globe Theatre, in London, speaking on the topic, “Shakespeare Out of the Box.” On July 29, the actors will perform at the Spaceworks Tacoma Block Party at Theater on the Square downtown (see www.spaceworkstacoma.com for information). On Aug. 8 and 22, the troupe will take the stage at the Tacoma Art Museum for a performance of the tragicomedy, Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard. Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, 913 Broadway, Sept. – mid-Nov. Information at www.sitpl.org