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Posts Tagged ‘pop-up’

Photo: BBC
An aerial performer rehearses on stage at Shakespeare’s Rose, a pop-up theater in York, England.

You’ve heard of pop-up libraries, pop-up gift stores, and pop-up restaurants. Now here comes a pop-up Shakespeare theater in York, England.

Ian Youngs writes at the BBC, “Shakespeare’s Rose, which [opened in April] and has cost £3m, is Europe’s first ‘pop-up’ Shakespearean theatre. …

“The temporary theatre has been built in a car park in 28 days to a circular design, similar to those erected on Bankside in Shakespeare’s day.

“It will stage four of his plays with a cast including [TV actor] Alexander Vlahos, who will play Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and Catesby in Richard III.

“As well as the audience members standing in the centre, a further 660 will watch from seats on three levels around the edge.

“Shakespeare and his contemporaries would recognise the design and ‘tricks’ like trapdoors and flying, which have hardly changed over the past 400 years, according to [producer James] Cundall.

” ‘They’d find everything they had in their theatre — they just probably wouldn’t recognise [Layher] scaffolding,’ he says. ‘Each length [of scaffolding] is probably about the same size as a standard oak beam, so that’s how Shakespeare’s oak became German scaffolding. …

“There was an actual Rose theatre in London in the Bard’s time, which was recreated for the 1999 film Shakespeare in Love. …

“Professor Judith Buchanan of the University of York, who has advised on the pop-up theatre, said: ‘Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is not a historical reconstruction of the early modern Rose playhouse on Bankside, nor of any other early modern playhouse. It is an approximate and suggestive architectural allusion to the idea of the early modern playhouse.’

“The creators of the York theatre will hope that their venue doesn’t replicate some other aspects of the original Rose — which had to be closed occasionally due to riots or the plague, and which had one cast member who killed the other in a duel.”

Read more at the BBC, here, and at the Independent, here.

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Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
A stage in the back of a U-Haul (paid for in part by Fresh Sound Foundation) allows the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet to perform anywhere.

Classical musicians who believe their music will bring a blessing to whoever hears it have been presenting in offbeat locales in the Greater Boston area. Tomorrow, too. Malcolm Gay has the story at the Boston Globe.

“The 17-foot U-Haul truck sat parked in an empty field, ringed by trees. With the touch of a button, a roof-mounted winch whirred into action, unspooling cable as a fan-shaped stage lowered like a drawbridge from the rear. The U-Haul’s modified rear doors acted as a band shell, flanking the stage to project sound, and a custom-made sail, supported by deep-sea fishing rods, projected as a visor from above.

“Fifteen minutes later and the vehicle, dubbed the Music Haul, was a fully functioning stage — a 21st-century gypsy caravan that will bring live performances to the streets and schools of Greater Boston, Sunday through Tuesday.

“ ‘It really is more boat than truck,’ said Catherine Stephan, executive director of the Yellow Barn music center. ‘We got to know RV dealerships really well.’ …

“ ‘It’s supposed to be as close to magic as possible,’ said architect John Rossi, one of the traveling venue’s principal designers. …

“Its creators say the Music Haul’s main mission is to bring world-class concert performances to the most unlikely of places: schools, underserved neighborhoods, hospitals, perhaps even prisons.

” ‘We exist in the world as musicians that is in a way so finely controlled and tuned,’ said Yellow Barn’s artistic director, Seth Knopp. ‘Music Haul removes some of the ceremony, which can be a barrier for people who are not often exposed to that world. There’s an element of taking something out of its accustomed place and allowing it to take people by surprise.’ ”

What a good thought! Reminds me how you can suddenly start seeing the pictures on your walls again if you move them to a new location in the house.

Read more about this enchanting initiative here.

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Providence is engaging in so many entertaining pop-up activities I can’t keep up. Suzanne sent this link about one that happened today. I guess it is what people mean when they talk about “placemaking.”

Chris writes at the blog for Our Backyard Rhode Island, “Where else but Our Backyard could you walk to dozens of parks in just one day? Today 32 temporary parklets have sprung up in Downtown, the West Side, and the East Side of Providence to mark PARK(ing) Day. More than 30 metered parking spaces have been transformed into temporary public parks. Designers worked with local businesses to find creative ways to add green space to the urban environment. They trucked in plants, Astroturf and picnic tables to create alluring stop offs for people out for a walk.

“On Matthewson Street, you can even use frisbees to play checkers on a board as big as a queen-size comforter. Organized locally by the RI chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (RIASLA), the RI chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAri), and Transport Providence, Park(ing) Day strengthens connections in Our Backyard.”

More here.

Photo: http://ourbackyardri.com/
A Providence parklet today.

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Walkability greatly improves the quality of life in a town or city, a precept our country lost track of for many years. I grew up in exurbia, where there were no sidewalks. And although I loved walks in the woods, I always felt a little gypped by the ads in comic books starting, “Be the first on your block …” What was a block? As an adult, I have lived only where there are sidewalks.

One of the most engaging recent developments of today’s walkability movement is Walk[YourCity], which enables you or anyone else to make professional-looking signs to interesting places in walking distance. (I love the stealth aspect of posting them.)

Suzanne and I began noticing signs in Providence a couple months ago, but it was only recently that some folks behind the effort blogged about it.

“Providence, RI, is playing host to two Walk [Your City] campaigns — both intended to activate public space and promote active transport.

PopUp Providence is a placemaking project that ‘introduces interactive, artistic and cultural displays and interventions throughout the City’s 25 neighborhoods.’ W[YC] signage has been incorporated … Other first-season PopUp Providence projects include a pop-up music studio offering teaching and performance spaces, and a parklet adding seating to the streetscape. …

“Providence’s Planning Department mentioned W[YC] to folks from the I-195 Redevelopment District, who thought the signs would be a great way to direct folks to their interim use art installations — soon to include 12 creative installations throughout the I-195 downtown parcels.”

More at the Walk[YourCity] blog, here. (And may I just note that Providence has exactly the kind of creative, entrepreneurial climate that would lead people to embrace something like this.)

Photos: Emily Kish and Kate Holguin

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The New York Times recently printed a lovely collection of pop-up music sightings by various reporters. Each unexpected free performance affected New Yorkers like a flash mob.

At the High Line, surprised “participants were given small sets of speakers that could be attached to their coats or backpacks, or held by hand. As you began the walk at the southern end of the High Line, near Gansevoort Street, your every footstep or hand twist kicked the app into action, and you heard various sounds — clinking, chimes, splashing water, car horns, chords on electric guitar and, in a novel touch, occasional rounds of applause.”

Another report notes, “The High Line elevated park does not normally allow group walks or amplified sounds, but it made an exception for ‘The Gaits,’ one of a dozen participatory performances that constituted Make Music Winter.

“The event was an offshoot of Make Music New York, a festival of hundreds of concerts that occurs in June on the first day of summer, in public spaces around the city. Modeled after Fête de la Musique, an annual affair in Paris started in 1982, the New York version is in its sixth year.

“The founder of Make Music New York is Aaron Friedman, a composer and political activist who decided it was time to add a winter solstice edition.”

Several delightful Winter Solstice music events are described here.

Photograph: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Meredith Krinke, 6, holds Bach sheet music for her father, Brian, December 21 on the G train in New York.

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