Tim Sekuless admits when Lakespeare & Co. began, "I thought it might be a vanity project."
His sister Lexi was one of the founders, along with Taimus Werner-Gibbing, Duncan Driver and Paul Leverenz.
But, he says, he was glad to be wrong.
"I'm glad she didn't listen to me when I was cautioning her."
He will be directing the company's next production, a yet-to-be announced comedy.
Since it began, Lakespeare & Co. has produced two seasons of free outdoor summer Shakespeare in Canberra. The performances of Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night were watched by thousands of people and received government, corporate and individual support both financially and in kind. And they are always seeking more help.
The play may be the thing, but Lakespeare & Co. is planning even more than that in 2020.
Shakespeare by the Lakes III will be the centrepiece, with the performances of the above-mentioned comedy.
But the company has announced its plans for 12 months of Shakespearean theatre and training to make Shakespeare more accessible and engaging for Canberrans.
It will also be presenting more performances of the spin-off Shakespeare Down the Pub, cut-down versions in a looser, more casual environment.
In addition, it will launch its inaugural winter season of productions in Canberra's cultural locations, starting with a partnership with the National Portrait Gallery next July.
Lakespeare & Co. is expanding its Shakespeare Verse workshops so more Canberrans can develop confidence in their technique with full-day workshops on Introduction to Verse, Verse Intensive or Monologue Intensive. Lexi Sekuless will focus on verse technique and Driver on acting. They will also teach classes for cast members in the summer play, which will have a particular emphasis on recruiting and training emerging actors.
Lexi Sekuless says, "It's like a Shakespearean drama school ...to grow Canberra's talent pool."
The aim, she says, is to train actors in the performance skills so they will be prepared not only for acting Shakespeare in the upcoming play but "so they can do it with anyone in Australia".
They're not waiting until 2020 to get going. Next month there will be a one-day workshop with Sport for Jove's artistic director Damien Ryan, a former Canberran, as part of the workshop series and there will be a repeat of the introductory courses held earlier this year.
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