By Alex Bourquein
ShakesBEER, a Shakespearean-themed pub crawl complete with theatrical performances, made its way through Downtown Bryan last year. Due to popular demand and the success of last year’s pub crawl, ShakesBEER is back and ready to dazzle fellow Shakespeare enthusiasts and bargoers alike with the words of the world’s greatest playwright.
“You get to go around different bars in Downtown Bryan and have intimate Shakespeare performance,” says Jessie Ayers, events coordinator at the Downtown Bryan Association. “Once you get your drink and settle in, the actors break out into a performance, run around the venue, and really engage the audience. It’s a lot of fun.”
The pubs and bars involved in this year’s event include six different locations: Downtown Uncorked, Murphy’s Law, The Village Café, Revolution, Rx Pizza, and the Grand Stafford Theater. Rx Pizza is the newest location to participate in this event, providing an additional performance from last year.
“It wasn’t hard at all to get these bars to participate in this event again,” says Ayers. “The performances take place during what would usually be the bar’s down time and it brings new people into places they wouldn’t normally visit. I would say it’s a positive experience for everyone involved.”
The event is put on by the Shakespeare Exchange Company, a New York-based acting company, and they incorporate props from the bars, jump on tables for epic fight scenes, and last year, one actor dramatically ripped open his shirt while walking down the stairs, says Ayers.
“These actors are the real deal, and I truly believe they enjoy their time here,” says Ayers. “I remember the actors being so amazed by how welcoming everyone in the Bryan-area was. They were in love with all the Texas stores, including Catalena Hatters. They were surprised people actually wore cowboy hats.”
The Shakespeare Exchange Company will host two pub crawls on March 18. Both pub crawls will start at 3pm and end at 7pm with participants being divided into Group A or Group B depending on the ticket purchased.
There will also be two performances of Much Ado About Nothing on March 22-23 at 7pm at Rudder Theater on Texas A&M University’s campus as well as acting workshops at schools in the Bryan Independent School District.
Tickets are selling fast as there is only room for about 100 per pub crawl, says Ayers.
The biggest difference from last year’s event would be the timing. This year, the pub crawl will take place during Spring Break.
“I think it will affect college-age attendance,” says Ayers. “Most of the residents like how things empty out during the break so it might give them a chance to do something they wouldn’t normally do.”
To purchase tickets or get more information, visit the event’s Facebook page “ShakesBEER Comes Back to Downtown Bryan.”
To purchase tickets for Much Ado About Nothing, visit the MSC Box Office in Rudder at Texas A&M or boxoffice.tamu.edu.