'Bard Babes' celebrates the ladies

Being a glamorous Shakespearean actor has its perks ... you get to wear fabulous period costumes ... do a little cross dressing ... and sometimes you even get a song.

"Bard Babes," written and performed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Robin Goodrin Nordli, celebrates women's roles in Shakespeare's works with its funny and touching looks at the joys and challenges of taking on the characters of the Bard.

"'Bard Babes' is a piece I wrote for those who know Shakespeare and for those who don't," Nordli says. "I wanted to demystify the acting experience for the audience and share some of the pleasures and pitfalls of playing Shakespeare from an actor's point of view.

"I also wanted to do it with a sense of humor," she says. "My overall goals are to lighten up the topic and share with audiences my love of playing Shakespeare's women. The show runs about an hour, and I guarantee you will laugh ... and you will learn something."

The show is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, in the Angus Bowmer Theatre on the OSF campus, 15 S. Pioneer St. Tickets cost $20, $10 for ages 6 through 18, and can be purchased at the box office, online at www.osfashland.org or by calling 541-482-4331.

Nordli has presented "Bard Babes" at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Shakespeare Association of America, the Shakespeare Authorship Conference, Holland America's Shakespeare at Sea, Willamette Repertory Theatre, Riverside Repertory Theatre, Southern Oregon University and the Ashland New Plays Festival.

For this performance, she says she is lucky to be assisted by OSF actor Michael Elich.

Elich plays Prince John in this summer's OSF production of "The Heart of Robin Hood" and the ghost of Posthumus' father in "Cymbeline" on the Elizabethan Stage.

During his 19 seasons at the festival, he's played 57 roles in 45 productions, including Thersites in "Troilus and Cressida," Feste and Orsino in "Twelfth Night," Buckingham in "Henry VIII" and "Richard III," Antonio in "The Merchant of Venice" and many other plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights.

Nordli's summation of theater experience includes Regan in this year's OSF production of "King Lear" and the villanous queen in "Cymbeline." She also has 19 seasons at OSF to her credit and has performed in 54 OSF productions of 28 plays.

"Bard Babes" is part of OSF Presents, a program in its second year that is designed to provide OSF artists a venue to share their art with the community on a grander scale than they may be able to independently.

For a preview of the show, see www.osfashland.org/connect-with-us/explore-our-stories/2013/bard-babes.

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