Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 20th 2018

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Much Ado About Shakespeare

 

Professional Theatre Opens this Month

Without a doubt, Pensacola residents support the arts. Pensacola Museum of Art’s Culture Club unites them monthly, and the crowds that spill onto Palafox Street on Gallery Night are a testament to this city’s passion for anything art related.

It’s a surprise then, that up until now, Pensacola has lacked a professional theatre. Die-hard lovers of the stage have had to travel to Birmingham or Mobile to see professional actors at work.

Kevin Kern, Pensacola Shakespeare Theatre’s artistic director, explains that while local community theatres have far exceeded the quality levels and talent generally associated with community theatre, “there is nothing quite like seeing professionals at work…watching someone onstage that has dedicated their life to mastering that art form is a remarkable experience, and we wanted that in Pensacola.” Thus, a year and a half ago, a group of individuals formed the Pensacola Shakespeare Theatre with the express purpose of bringing professional theatre to Pensacola.

What separates professional theatre organizations from community theatre is the fact that their actors, designers and directors are paid for their time, rather than utilized on a volunteer basis. It’s this acknowledgement that the craft of theatre is such a time-consuming profession worthy of payment that sets its actors apart.

These professionals will come from across the nation, many of them seasoned actors from regional Shakespeare festivals, and will accompany local actors as well.

“Pensacola has so many talented actors, and that resource won’t be deprived. We’ve created a company that brings in professional actors and supplements them with our apprenticeship actors — university students and a few locals. We will always ensure that it’s a nice mix of those two.”

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