The roots of The Baron’s men lie in the reenactment community so education and experimentation are deeply embedded in our core values as an organization. As a group, we strive to educate our patrons in a period experience by paying attention to the accuracy of our costuming, props, and staging. Beyond this, we also strive to reach out into the community and educate those who seek help in period artistry as well as period theater production. This has led to a variety of relationships and events which you will find on this page.
The ImprovEd Shakespeare Company
The ImprovEd Shakespeare Company seeks to make the works of Shakespeare accessible to children. The company picks works by the Bard which are being performed by companies around town and creates mini-productions, which include both original and modern adaptations of the language, to teach participants the story of the play. The children create their own costumes and props for the shows, which they put on two at a time, and tour around town with their works. Offering free entertainment for kids by kids. Following their performance, the group goes to see the full-length version of the show that the participants can more easily understand.
When we were contacted by ImprovEd because they were interested in shadowing our Merchant of Venice, naturally we could not resist but to create a dynamic collaboration. Troupe members attended each of the performances, usually in costume, and provided an enthusiastic audience that would laugh at the period jokes. We also assisted ImprovEd in their Honk!Tx Parade participation, getting up early to get in costume and stroll about East Austin to the beats of street bands. Finally, we gave the group discounted seats at the show, and gave a talk back just for ImprovEd participants so that they could see how we prepared for the full roles. As you can see in the picture, our Shylocks got along quite well.
We have also discussed with their company assisting them in costuming workshops to help the participants learn about period fabrics and techniques as well as collaboration on a summer camp. Because our goals are so similar, we see this relationship as a lasting one which will only grow.
Cedar Park High School
Founder Pam Martin is a teacher at CPHS and it was only natural to cultivate a relationship with their theater department, which does one Shakespeare show a year. We have assisted in various capacities their programs over the last few years. First, we have worked with the students by holding workshops on scansion, diction, and character development. The Baron’s Men volunteers have attended rehearsals and given notes, attended performances, and have acted as role models from the Austin theater community. In addition to this, we have shared some of our costumes for their productions in kind. We have also worked with CPHS to piggyback use of The Curtain, allowing the students to practice and perform in an authentic space, which would otherwise be cost prohibitive.
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We are not certain when William Shakespeare was born, there is no record of his birth. We do know that he was baptized on April 26th and it was relatively standard during the period in which he was born to baptize one’s child on the third day of life. Therefore, Shakespeare’s Birthday is observed on April 23rd. In fact, the process has begun in England to observe April 23rd as an important cultural night, similar to a Burns Night. How do we at The Baron’s Men celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday? Through education in period craftsmanship by providing workshops on Leather Mask Making, Candle Making, Astronomy, Tailoring, Embroidery, Yarn Spinning, Dying, and more.
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