Ren Fest, SkyVault expand partnership

SkyVault castmember walks the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Photo provided

SkyVault castmember walks the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Photo provided

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival and The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company of Rochester are expanding their 12-month partnership heading into this year’s festival.

SkyVault, recipients of The Bottomless Hat/Best New Act Award at last year’s Renaissance Festival, was tapped in March to occupy a brand new themed area, Sherwood Forest. The woodland area had served for the past several years as a Fairywing Forest.

“SkyVault’s outdoor performance experience and interactive performance style lend themselves perfectly to both stage and street performing at the festival,” said Carr Hagerman, artistic director for the Renaissance Festival in a press release. “The musical and acting skills of the cast are superb. They were a hands down choice for the Bottomless Hat Award last year.”

Members of last year’s SkyVault troupe are returning this year for stage and street performing. They’ll bring along their redesigned minstrel wagon to serve as their stage on festival grounds.

Cast members will perform original music from this year’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” as well as original music from past Shakespeare productions. They will also perform brief scenes from a variety of Shakespeare plays.

The cast is receiving training in SkyVault’s signature performance style including: observing, listening, interacting with other ensemble actors, physical acting, ensemble performance, music, audience interaction, improvisation, and outdoor performance.

They’re rehearsing outside, since that’s where they’ll be performing, and they’re doing a lot more in their seven week, five hour training days including getting training from Adams native, Joey Ray, a University of Minnesota gymnastics Hall of Famer who is teaching cast members gymnastics and tumbling twice a week.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival begins on Aug. 22 and runs through Oct. 4

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