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Shakespeare in the Digital Age: How Sweet Tea Shakespeare Builds Community in a Time of Isolation

Today, as I was recording the latest Sweet Tea Shakespeare Cocktail Hour Podcast with Claire Martin, we lamented the current lack of live (in person) theatre. Our lamenting quickly turned to celebrating, however, as we realized how fortunate we are to live in the digital age: the age of Zoom, of podcasts, and of Facebook live-streams. For many artists, both amateur and professional, we have found solace in our online rehearsals. Particularly here at Sweet Tea Shakespeare, we have built and grown our online community.

As North Carolina’s stay at home went into effect, Sweet Tea Shakespeare was gearing up to begin rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Traditionally, we begin our first rehearsal for each production with a meeting and a potluck (as one does in the south). We were saddened not to have our usual community building meet-and-greet with old and new cast members alike, but promised ourselves we’d soon be in the same room. As time went on, and it became apparent we weren’t leaving our respective homes anytime soon, we sought comfort in the community we built around a Shakespeare comedy and many Zoom calls. It became a place where we laughed, exchanged fears, and learned from one another.

As Claire and I continued to talk today, we realized we had not built just a community of comfort for ourselves, but as we engaged in this digital platform, we created a space with a level playing field. A space for creativity. A learning community where artists, teachers, designers, and technicians could gather for a common goal and learn from each other. And learn we have. We have taken our performances digital, converting full length plays into audio dramas and filmed productions. We have found ways to still engage with live audiences through live-streamed concerts and our podcast series. While nothing about the end of our 2019-2020 season was ideal, we have pushed forward and grown, I believe, as a company and as a larger community. I am grateful to have had Sweet Tea Shakespeare in my life the last several months, and hope you can say the same. If you are new to us, welcome!

Please join our community for several of our productions (digitally!) that we have coming up soon.  We hope to see you there! You can get tickets here.

 

Peace, Love, and Shakespeare,

Jessie Wise

Discourse Fellow

 

P.S. Enjoy the photo of my husband and I back when live performances were still a thing, at STS’s Macbeth!

Beat the Heat With Some Sweet Tea!

Sweet Tea Shakespeare is serving up another sweet Hours Online Concert featuring our famous preshow music on Friday, July 17th, 2020 at 6:30pm. If you love the preshow we bring to every Sweet Tea performance, you will love this online experience. Our company members mix up popular hits and lesser known treasures to craft the perfect audience experience, alongside stories and laughs. But act now, because tickets are limited. Get your tickets today! Pricing is Pay What You Can for the general public, and free for our Patreon Sustainers and season ticket holders. Once your spot is reserved, we will send you the access information a few hours before the show. Hope to see you all there!

Catch Us Live!

If you have ever been to a Sweet Tea Shakespeare show, then you know about our energetic pre-show concerts. We are now bringing the rollicking good time to your living room with our second installment of our Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours Concert! Livestreaming from Leclair’s General Store.
Tickets: Pay What You Can (free for season ticket holders & Patreon members)
You must get your tickets by visiting: sweetteashakespeare.com/tickets. The link will be sent to ticket holders the day of show.
This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

Bringing Our Famous Preshow Right to Your Living Room!

Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents an online concert with its famous preshow music: Tonight, we bring to you some of our favorite tunes, right to your living room! Grab a glass of sweet tea and join us tonight, June 13th at 6:30pm for our Hours Online Concert. Tickets are limited. Tickets are free for Patreon sustainers and season ticket holders and Pay What You Can for everyone else.

This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

Stirring Up a New Season Ticket Deal!

2020-2021 season tickets are $115 per person for a limited time. This is a STEAL— so no additional discounts. We’ll sell a VERY limited number of these specially priced and when that amount has sold, the price will go up and some of the perks will go down. Grab yours today. For your $115 purchase, you’ll get:

  • A ticket to every show next season First to know next season’s shows—before the public finds out (Teaser: Expect a variety of LIT performances, and a Greek classic, Medea!)
  • Free ticket transfers for you and immediate family (subject to availability,)
  • Free seat cushions for use at shows (subject to availability)
  • Free ticket to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Knight’s Tale this season (a $20-$50 value)
  • First drink free when you next attend a performance. 

Upgrade your experience for $165 with premiums that include everything above, plus these to enjoy at your next performance: Bottle of Sweet Tea Shakespeare hand-selected wine from The Wine Cafe Our BRAND NEW savory charcuterie snack box from The Wine Cafe—works great as a light meal.

Don’t miss this deal!