MoCo Arts "The Shakespeare Project"

Bridget Beirne and Tom Frey lead rehearsal for The Shakespeare Project. Top row, left to right: Mia Hennum, Kobe Hachey, Eliora Despres, Hannah Driscoll-Carignan; middle row: Elizabeth Doyle, Elizabeth Downing, Ava Lunge, Georgia Gempler; bottom row: Chase Johnson, Bridget Beirne, Tom Frey, Jameson Dunford.

MoCo Arts in Keene is set to present two performances this weekend virtually through Vimeo.

The middle school musical, “Anywhere in the World!,” will be available to watch starting Saturday at 2 p.m., and the high school play, “The Shakespeare Project,” will be available to watch starting Sunday at 2 p.m. Once released, the shows, which were created by faculty and staff at MoCo, are offered to rent and buy for the rest of the semester.

“Anywhere in The World” is written and directed by Kristen Leach. Originally set to release a week earlier, the show moved dates to accommodate student’s safety after Thanksgiving. This show was rehearsed in person and was prerecorded. The new musical tells the tale of Ellie, who mistakenly downloads an obscure app on her phone and discovers that it magically teleports the user to anywhere in the world.

Leach created the show based on current events.

“Because the show travels anywhere in the world, we can use technology and different Zoom backgrounds to convey where the story is taking place,” Leach said. “Anywhere in the World!” is sponsored in part by Edward Jones. Tickets are $24 per household to rent and $30 to purchase and download.

Bridget Beirne and Tom Frey, directors of the high school play, have been using the videoconferencing platform Zoom as an educational tool to teach the language and performance styles of Shakespeare. “The Shakespeare Project,” as they are calling it, is an original evening of Shakespeare pieces arranged and interpreted by the actors. Famous excerpts from “Hamlet,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Henry V,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and more combine in a one-of-a-kind performance driven by the characters themselves and the actor’s connection to them through a pop-culture lens.

“The beautiful, and albeit challenging aspect of a Zoom rehearsal and show is that there can be delays, which is not as rhythmic as we know Shakespeare to be,” Beirne said. “Students have to really listen and connect with each other for the story to work, which is so important when acting.” Tickets are $28 per household to rent and $35 to purchase and download.

Tickets to rent, buy and download are presented through Vimeo On Demand. The performances will be streamed virtually and filmed from MoCo Arts and the student’s homes. To purchase tickets, visit moco.org/performances or call MoCo Arts at 357-2100. For more information about MoCo Arts and its dance and theatre programs, visit www.moco.org.