Shakespeare fest back at BC

Sharida Rejon, Photographer

The annual Kern Shakespeare Festival just wrapped up their 28th season with “Henry V” and “Fractured Shakespeare” at Bakersfield College.
The program, which is produced by the Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department, is designed to join together professional guest actors with student and community actors to produce two of Shakespeare’s plays. This year, the cast included three Bakersfield College theater professors.
One of these professors is Kimberly Chin. Although her teaching schedule has kept her from participating more in the Kern Shakespeare Festival in the past, she has acted in “The Winter’s Tale” and “As You Like It,” as well as directed “Merry Wives of Windsor” and stage-managed “Twelfth Night.”
“Any opportunity to perform is truly a gift,” Chin said. “I loved getting to work with former students and future students, as well as with my colleagues. Actors have to work extremely hard to build their characters, but the job of the director is far more stressful,” she said. “It was a joy to just get to work as an actor and be a part of a dynamic cast and crew.”
Matt Mizell, a Bakersfield College graduate and community actor, portrayed King Henry the fifth in “Henry V” and various characters in the comedy “Fractured Shakespeare” in this year’s festival. Mizell, who has participated in the Kern Shakespeare Festival for the past four years and has acted in numerous Shakespeare plays in Bakersfield and Shafter, says that although being in a Shakespeare play is challenging, it can be very rewarding. “This was my first lead in the Kern Shakespeare Festival, so the line memorization was probably the toughest part,” Mizell said. “Shakespeare is a completely different language in a totally different time period and having to take that and portray it in a way that the modern audience will be able to recognize and engage, that’s tough,” he said. “But honestly, the most rewarding part is watching the cast come together and really perform the show. Us as actors, if we are there fully, that always makes a great show,” he said. Mizell plans to return to the stage in next year’s Kern Shakespeare Festival.
“Henry V” and “Fractured Shakespeare” were performed on select days from Oct. 9-20 in the Renegade Park at BC.