As an artist led initiative, Shakespeare BASH'd seeks to take ownership of their own creativity by producing Shakespeare's plays in social settings, creating a relaxed, exciting environment for the audience.
Their mission is to present Shakespeare's plays with simple staging, clear and specific language, and an emphasis on the words and characters telling the story. Most productions occur in a bar, where the audience is encouraged to get a drink, have a bite, and enjoy the show.
Each year, I create branding for the season to be used online and design coasters for individual shows. The Artistic Director and Producer like to use a simple, minimalistic image to represent each show. I draw inspiration from the text or themes of each piece and use font, colour, or a stylistic theme to tie the various shows together. We use coasters instead of the traditional postcard to highlight the fact that the shows are performed in bars. This has become a great conversation piece when the coasters are handed out at a festival or in the Fringe tent.
For the 2017 Season, I was tasked with creating four animalistic images. I was also asked to use bright, vibrant colours and an exciting, electric font. Looking to the characters and themes of each play, I choose a snake, fox, boar and rat. Inspired by the simple lines of neon signs, I created outlines of each animal, sometimes using the full body and sometimes just the head.
The 2016 Season marked the last year Shakespeare BASH'd would perform at the Toronto Fringe, where the company got its storied début in 2011. With the sale of Honest Ed's, Fringe was moving, and our venue, The Victory Café, would be torn down. After 5 years (and 5 sold-out productions) at the Fringe, The Comedy of Errors would be our last hurrah. We wanted to capture the madcap, revolving-door nature of this play about twins and mistaken identity, as well as the celebratory nature of our fond farewell to the Fringe. The company asked me to capture these ideas with shapes and patterns, and this geometric, representational aesthetic took for the other shows in the season. Drawing on the themes of the plays, I set about to distill iconic images and concepts to their most basic forms.