Shakespeare at 450: 5 Unique Spots to See The Bard's Works

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Today, William Shakespeare lovers celebrate the 450th anniversary of the immortal's Bard's birth. We thought we'd join in by showcasing some out-of-the-ordinary ways to experience the work of the man who wrote, "All the world's a stage."

In a prison

Featured in the 2005 documentary of the same name, Shakespeare Behind Bars in LaGrange, Ky. is an all-inmate theatre troupe that stages full productions of the Bard's works for the public in the chapel of the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex just outside of Louisville. SBB's goal is to use Shakespeare and the ensemble process to help the inmates develop empathy and social skills. Much Ado About Nothing opens May 12.

Shakespeare Behind Bars in LaGrange, Kentucky
Shakespeare Behind Bars/Holly Stone

On your feet

The reimagining of Macbeth at New York City's Sleep No More is an adventure in interactive, site-specific theatre. The scenes unfold in the reconfigured rooms of Manhattan warehouses designed to look like a 1920s hotel. Punchdrunk theatre company asks patrons to wear masks and stay silent as they move freely throughout the sexy, violent world of Sleep No More.

Among the cacti

The Southwest Shakespeare Company's new adaption of A Midsummer Night's Dream, called FairWorlds!, happens in Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden. The production's costumes, lighting, music and other elements were created to suit this unusual environment, which is home to more than 50,000 native desert plants.

Fairworlds by the Southwest Shakespeare Company
Facebook/Southwest Shakespeare Company

In the wild west

Held in Cedar City, the upcoming Utah Shakespeare Festival's rendition of Comedy of Errors is set during the California Gold Rush of 1849. But what patrons may find golden about this production is the venue. The Adams Shakesperean Theatre is a combination indoor-outdoor theatre that's based on 16th-century Tudor stages. How authentic is the Adams? It was good enough for the BBC, which filmed part of its Shakespeare series at the southern Utah theatre.
Comedy of Errors at the Utah Shakespeare Festival
Utah Shakespeare Festival/Karl Hugh

In toto

Portland's arts and academic communities have come together in a groundbreaking effort to stage the entire Shakespeare canon. The two-year festival, The Complete Works Project, launches today with performances of Othello at the Gerding Theatre and Hamlet at Post5. The Complete Works Project runs through April 23, 2016 -- the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

Othello at the Complete Works Project
Portland Center Stage

: This Day In History: 04/23/1564 - William Shakespeare Born

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