"Talent! Talent! Talent"
"A MUST SEE"
"Blow Us All Away"
"So freaking funny and cute!"
"The Best Show I've Seen at Fringe"
"A totally inventive take on Shakespeare!"
"Multi-talented Group of Young Artists!"
"On the road to brilliance!"
"Energetic, whimsical bard-iness"
"Shakespeare would be proud!"
"Go See This Show!!!"
On February 29, 2016 the Minnesota Fringe Festival announced winners of its production-slot lottery for the 2016 Festival, and SkyVault’s name was drawn as one of the 169 performers for the run from August 4 - 14 at various venues in the Twin Cities. SkyVault was assigned to the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Thrust stage - a perfect venue for their audience-interactive style.
Fringe is an annual performing arts festival in the Twin Cities. For 11 days, over a thousand artists present works in every discipline and genre. No one selects the participating shows. Instead, a lottery determines which of over 500 applicants win production slots in the festival. They describe themselves as "a performing arts festival audiences can get close to,” and encourage new works, creativity, and originality.
The Festival was something SkyVault had been eyeing for a couple of years, as it seemed a place to do what we do — original work and theatre that audiences can get close to.
The SkyVault Fringe cast wrote an original Shakespeare adaptation titled On the Road to Verona. The gist:
A youthful band of Shakespeare’s traveling companions discover a collection of the Bard’s lost prose and determine to bring them to the stage. The story is created with audience input (no silenced cell phones here). The Bard’s minstrel companions perform original folk and jazz music using the words of their scribe.
One very unique aspect of the show was its use of Facebook live streaming to engage the social media savvy audience. The audience was specifically told to not silence their cell phones for this production, but rather to bring them out to interact with the cast in a unique way.
The show was very well received, garnering a four star rating overall, with most of the reviews being either four or five stars.
See more photos on the Words Players Smugmug site.
Watch the two trailers the cast created to advertise the show:
Read the show program that one of the ushers called the most professional looking he had seen in all his years helping with the Fringe Festival.
Get to know the cast; click on a cast member's photo to read their bio.
Take a look at the Facebook posts made during the performance by the SkyVault social media crew and audience members who were interacting in person at the theater as well as from a distance via the live stream on Facebook. These posts are from the performance shown in the video below.
(Click here to see the full Facebook feed on a single page.)