July 11, 2018 11:15 pm

Lethbridge theatre group infuses Japanese culture into Shakespeare performance

Actors infuse classic Shakespeare scenes with Japanese theatre during a live performance at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens.

Demi Knight/ Global News

Infusing classical drama scenes with elements from Japanese theatre is what the Shakespeare Performance Society brought to Lethbridge’s Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden on Wednesday night.

“This is a first for us and we are most excited,” said Kate Connolly, president of the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society.

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“The Japanese Gardens approached us and asked if we could do some version of The Tempest or [another] Shakespeare [play] or something musical in the gardens for one of their evening entertainment [events], so we’re really happy to come along and do this.”

The performance took audience members back to the 1600s with scenes from The Tempest, while incorporating elements of Japanese theatre into their repertoire with popular songs and stylings.

READ MORE: Star-crossed lovers draw big crowds for Shakespeare in the Park in Lethbridge

Dressed in traditional Japanese attire, the actors started the night by demonstrating a popular cultural art form before settling in to some of the playwright’s most famous scenes.

The Gardens aren’t the only venue the Shakespeare performance group can be found at this summer.

“We perform Shakespeare in the Park every year, well this is our seventh year with The Tempest in Galt Gardens,” Connolly said.

“We have also taken shows up to the Coutts Centre and [for] the last three years, we’ve also done performances at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.”

The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society will be performing its production of The Tempest on Thursday and Friday evenings at Galt Gardens, this summer. Entrance is free but donations are accepted.


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