Shakespeare at the Rock on the move - Dundurn Castle is their new home.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 5th, 2020



In the summer the Tottering Biped Theatre (TBT) creates contemporary, highly physical interpretations of Shakespeare. Since 2016, TBT has presented original takes on Shakespeare at the beautiful Rock Gardens of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Shakespeare at Rock 1

The cool of a summer evening at the RBG Rock Garden watching a Shakespeare production.

The team descends on the Gardens each August to present the contemporary issues they care about with flair to the words of the immortal Bard, marrying the traditional with the issues of today to inspire reflection, new perspectives, and change.

Founded in 2009 as a social justice inspired Theatre Company, they devise contemporary pieces through a workshop process spanning several years to create highly physical works of artistic excellence during the Fall/Winter.

They define their mandate as promoting conscious evolution through Theatre, emphasizing themes of social justice; their works have addressed poverty, Israeli-Palestinian relations, same sex marriage, violence against women, and mental health.

Unfortunately, the RBG has decided not to present the TBT work again after four years of collaboration and despite having the largest audience yet in 2019, so TBT found  a new home it will be Shakespeare at the Castle – Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Ontario.

“There are some things about this change that are incredibly exciting”, said Trevor Copp, Director of TBT. “This shift will radically improve our accessibility. We have always wanted to offer ‘pay what you can’ tickets, but the RBG dictated ticket prices, making this impossible.

Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle will be the new home for the Shakespeare program – more space is one of the advantages.

With Shakespeare at the Castle, we will finally be able to make all tickets ‘pay what you can’ so that more people can get in and get their Shakespeare on!

“We will also now be much closer to downtown Hamilton at a location that is much more accessible by public transportation, again allowing more people to enjoy our shows and receive the benefits of the arts.

“We will also now have more artistic control over the work and be able to fully embrace our own Hamilton aesthetic while pursuing our goal of getting living wages into the hands of emerging professional artists in our area.”

Merchant - Trevor - thought

Trevor Copp watching a rehearsal.

Trevor Copp has put a brave face on a terribly disappointing decision on the part of RBG. They are going to need some help to make this work.

For those who love Shakespeare and delight in the spin that TBT gives some of the memorable productions; you will see them again – this time with a Hamilton-centric spin, no doubt.

Copps set out the situation is crystal clear language: What We Need & What You Get.

“If we can raise the money to pay our artists this year, we can save the money we raise in ticket sales and put that towards next year’s budget. So, if we can get this money together one time, we will be able to sustainably carry on this project in subsequent seasons.”

“You can help make the transformation possible – Contribute here!

“Our goal is to make this a legacy series for Hamilton and the surrounding region, and this is the make or break year that will decide if that happens.

Merchant - yellow mask

Rehearsals for the Merchant of Venice

“No amount is too small. Please consider contributing to this fantastic project!

Merchant - Antonio

Michael Harrigan in Merchant of Venice – rehearsal

This isn’t just about money. TBT’s take on Mid-summer Night’s Dream was something you will never see again.

Their production of Romeo and Juliet was different yet superb. They did Macbeth and Twelfth Night as well. Nothing shabby about any of them. This was theatre worth watching.

Keep an eye on how they are doing financially – and get on the band wagon.


Got Your Back $10-$99):
A social media shout out for the love! You logged in, filled it all out, and did what you could! It makes such a difference to us!

Patron Sponsor ($100-$499):
Recognition by name on our website and in our Shakespeare at the Castle programs.
Bronze Sponsor ($500-$999):
Above benefits + A poster signed by the cast and a full cast/crew “Thank You” photo
Silver Sponsor ($1K -$2.4K):
Above benefits + Pair of tickets for our dress rehearsal and Q&A talkback and photo op with the cast and director of Shakespeare at the Castle.
Gold Sponsor ($2.5K-$4.9K):
All above benefits +
– If you want to be the slick silent partner type, you get a coffee with one of our cast members before the show to learn about their experience and ask any questions you want!

– If you want to shout it out, a 3-foot sign with your name or company name/logo will be displayed at the Dundurn Castle performances throughout the run + a quarter-page ad or your personal message/dedication in our program.
Platinum Sponsor ($5K-$9.9K):

How do you tell these actors that you want them to be on the stage next summer and for years after? Do something now.Contribute


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