The classic works of William Shakespeare have entertained audiences for centuries and are regarded by many as timeless masterpieces. Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and many others have been adapted into almost every spoken language on the planet and performed countless times around the world.
This summer, The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, The Museum of the Cape Fear and Fayetteville State University sponsor the third season of a local group that performs works of William Shakespeare in our area, Sweet Tea Shakespeare.
Sweet Tea Shakespeare was founded in 2012 at Fayetteville State University by Jeremy Fiebig, who is an Assistant Professor of Theatre. He says he founded the group because he wanted to, “dig back into work with Shakespeare ... I wanted to get Fayetteville interested in Shakespeare, too.”
To perform, Fiebig has assembled a cast of actors that he describes as, “a mix of local professionals, some of my students, students from Methodist University, recent alumni from FSU and Methodist, Campbell University and students at FTCC … We have actors who have worked with us before, who have worked at Gilbert Theatre, Cape Fear Regional Theatre and the university theatres in the area. People will recognize them from other work in the community. That is one of the things that we pride ourselves on, these people on stage are known.”
The group is set to perform two shows; one series in June and another in July. Love’s Labour’s Lost runs June 18-22, and is directed by Jeremy Fiebig. The Taming of the Shrew, the second show of the season, runs July 16-20, and is directed by Greg Fiebig, who is a Professor of Communication and Theatre at Indiana-Wesleyan University, and the father of Jeremy Fiebig.
Both shows begin at 7 p.m., and are performed outdoors on the grounds of the Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear on Arsenal Avenue. Fieberg has chosen to perform outdoors because, “doing any type of theatre is about making magic and there are a lot of ways to go about getting that magic; the play itself, the scenery, costumes, lighting, the effects, actors, music. For Sweet Tea, much of that magic comes from the beautiful environment of Southeast North Carolina. We are about beautiful spaces and beautiful words; we selected the Poe House because it is a beautiful environment. It adds to the magic of the play, the magic we bring as actors, musicians and artists.
“Sweet tea is something everybody has in common around here, it is everywhere, and it is something everyone can enjoy. Shakespeare can be, and is, all of those things, too. We want to be the best party in town. A lot of Sweet Tea Shakespeare is built around the idea of community and an event. When you come to Sweet Tea Shakespeare, you are getting a great production of a play but you are also going to get the opportunity to hang out with other people. We want Shakespeare to be at the center of that party. But that party doesn’t happen unless the community is there.”
Find out more about Sweet Tea Shakespeare at www.sweetteashakespeare.com.