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Bards of Birmingham

Bards of Birmingham

Bards of Birmingham was informally launched in 2008 as the “Cahaba Valley Players.” Bards is the brain child of Laura Heider, who conceptualized the group while serving as a minister for children and youth. In 2010, Bards of Birmingham became an independent non-profit theatre company.

Bards of Birmingham was formed with the intention of providing an opportunity to engage in theatre to all young people in the Greater Birmingham area, regardless of experience, education level, age, race, and/or economic constraints. Bards’ primary focus is on classical theatre, particularly the works of Shakespeare.

“Shakespeare is, quite simply, the greatest playwright who ever lived,” Heider says. “It makes sense that if young people can conquer Shakespeare, nothing in the English language will hold any fear at all. If a child can read – and sometimes, even if he or she can’t – they can learn Shakespeare.”

Bards strives to keep theatre accessible by keeping participation costs for actors low and by offering scholarships whenever economic challenges might prevent a young person from participating.

An Ethic of Mentoring

Bards of Birmingham is divided into a Junior and Senior division, to enable the greatest number of actors to gain on-stage experience. The Junior Division includes actors between the ages of 5 and 14 (kindergarten through 8th grade). The Senior Division is for young people through age 25 (Junior Division-aged actors are eligible to audition for all Senior Division plays).

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