Shakespeare in the Arb, a collaboration between U-M’s Residential College and the Nichols Arboretum, has been a staple of Ann Arbor summers for the past twenty years. Now, in the midst of Covid-19, they’ve been forced to cancel all live performances. What was meant to be the 20th-anniversary production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, the first play the group ever performed, has been postponed until next summer.
Instead of live shows, The Virtual Bard offers Shakespeare in the Arb fans with historical and technical tidbits about the program. This new website features video messages from the production’s directors, scenes from past shows, and a photo gallery. Also included is a podcast about the making of the program and a selection of interviews with former cast members. These interviews contain memories of past shows and examples of how program alums have kept the legacy of Shakespeare in the Arb alive through their own careers. As co-director Graham Atkin said in his video statement, they hope any disappointment about the cancelation will be “overshadowed by joyful anticipation of the spring to come.”