Shakespeare hits the road

Carolina graduate student and actor Schuyler Mastain, along with six other students, took part in a pilot program that delivered bare bones, 75-minute Shakespeare productions.

It wasn’t the at-capacity, world-class PlayMakers Repertory Company stage that left its mark on UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student and actor Schuyler Mastain. It was in a nook at Durham County Public Library and in the Inter-Faith Council residential facility for homeless men where Mastain sharpened his definition of artist.

Enrolled in the University’s Professional Actor Training Program, Mastain and six other students just wrapped production on PlayMakers’ “Mobile Shakespeare,” a pilot program that delivers bare bones, 75-minute-long productions of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure in various Triangle community locations, including homeless shelters, YMCAs, public schools and public libraries.

“I became very aware that I am able to go to grad school, that I am able to perform,” Mastain said. “And yet here I am amongst people whose situation is very different than mine. It made me very aware of how lucky I am and how important it is to spread joy through this piece of art. That has been pivotal in my sharpening of what it means to be an artist.”

The Mobile Shakespeare program was built around the simple premise that Shakespeare’s work should be accessible to everyone. Through partnership with the community and creative direction by Katherine McGerr, that vision became a reality.

Check out the video, featuring the final Mobile Shakespeare performance of Measure for Measure at the Southwest Regional branch of Durham County Public Library, to see how the production is built from the ground up.