LA and Stratford Connect Through The Bard

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A final moment of 'Love'

On April 16 The Global Theatre Project produced its 2nd annual participation in Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Shakespeare Birthday celebration with the creation of this year’s The “Double Double” Sonnet Project in downtown LA.  Approximately 75 residents and theater artists from teens to senior citizens came together at 9 am and worked for three hours developing a piece which combined the witches scene from Macbeth with  Sonnet 116.

Projects and initiatives of The GTP are multi-leveled in their intentions and goals. This time the focus was on both the experience of the live event and the sharing of that live event through video.

Preparation for the live event brought together theater artists from throughout LA collaborating for the first time. Because of its nature they were required to reach out into the community so that the piece would reflect and share the diversity of Los Angeles. For this reason 11 languages were incorporated, including American Sign Language.

Artistic Director Bari Hochwald guides the rehearsal

At the event people came as individuals or with friends but what evolved was summed up very quickly by one participant: “I was amazed at how there were no egos. No conflict in creating the different moments. You sensed you were there in a community. Instantly you were a part of something beautiful.”Â According to GTP Artistic Director Bari Hochwald, this speaks to the heart of the GTP’s work: “the development of communities through creative initiatives, projects and productions not regardless of our diversity, but in celebration of it.”

The piece was filmed by students of California State University at Long Beach for the intention of being shown at the Stratford-Upon-Avon celebrations on April 30. This allows GTP to meet its core mission: creatively connecting American artists, residents and youth with our international neighbors.


When Hochwald was told Stratford’s focus this year would be both the Sonnets and the “Double Double” scene she took the opportunity to create a statement sent from LA. “We cannot continue to exist in a global world or within our own communities as separate entities. That is clearer as each day moves forward. I feel strongly, at the core of it all, there is one unifying aspect and that is Love. That is what we say with this piece. And that is what we will try to say, directly or indirectly, with everything we do at the GTP.”

The Global Theatre Project intends to make this an annual event based in Los Angeles. If you are interested in participating in its development or finding out more about GTP’s work, write to or visit the website. The first meeting for next year’s event will take place sometime in August or early September.

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LA STAGE Alliance

LA STAGE Alliance is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and support for the performing arts in Greater Los Angeles.