FEBRUARY 25-28, 2021

All events offer virtual and in-person screenings, free of charge. Registration is required for virtual and in-person screenings. Suggested donations are appreciated!

No Holds Bard : Shakespeare Remade  for 2021 is modified from its regular format due to public health concerns. We are taking cues from Shakespeare’s own time, when the theaters were often closed due to plague; however, we are able to do things undreamt of in all his philosophies. 

In both 1603 and 1606 the London theaters were closed due to plague. In both seasons, Shakespeare and the King’s Men took to touring through the countryside in order to keep performing. Of course, this also enabled the non-London-living population to see theater they would otherwise be unable to see. We have different ways of both performing and reaching audiences in our own time, and this year’s festival fully harnesses those means.

In keeping with the indomitable spirit of the Upstart Crow and his various bands of players, this year’s No Holds Bard fully embraces the time we live in. Theaters may be constrained, but imagination and its patrons never are!


Modern and dynamic, Core Theatre Ensemble delivers their teleplay, Shakespeare's Macbeth, for the No Holds Bard Festival 2021. Originally adapted for and performed at the 2014 FIT (18th Edition) Fêtes Internationales du Théâtre held in Quebec,Canada, Core's version of Shakespeare's famous play dazzled international audiences with imagery, movement, and music. This production premiered in the US at The Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk, 2014 and was performed at ODU's 2016 Shakespeare Festival. It has now been re-imagined for 2021 audiences to enjoy on screen.

This unique teleplay version was recorded at The Z and will be screened for limited audiences in the Main Stage theater at 7:30pm on Thursday, the 25th of February with an encore viewing at 4:30pm on Saturday, the 27th of February.

The teleplay will also be available for virtual viewing from February 25-March 1, 2021 if you register for a Remote Theater link.

Core Theatre Ensemble is an international touring independent theater company based out of Norfolk, Virginia. Headed by Emel Ertugrul and Edwin Castillo, they have been creating since 2006.

As Core, they work with a philosophy and focus on the performer within the ensemble, their works gravitate towards the group event and highlights the ensemble as an entity working towards a common goal of performance and presentation. Core’s mission is to create innovative, compelling ensemble works that are both challenging to the actors involved and engaging to the audiences who watch. All we want is to make is great theater and have great people see it... everywhere.


Shake’s Songs returns to this year’s festival. This unique concert pairs local singer-songwriters with Shakespeare lyrics of their choosing. Each performer is recording at The Z prior to the festival. Register to attend a unique screening of the filmed concert at The Z on Friday, the 26th of February, at 7:30pm or register for a Remote Theater link to watch from home.


The crowning piece of No Holds Bard is always the bootleg-style production. This year’s production adds another twist: it’s a bootleg movie! As always, the players have been randomly cast; we’ve given them a few weeks to learn their lines, craft their own costumes, and fashion their own props; then we’ve brought them into The Z to shoot their scene in front of a green screen and thrown the whole thing together!


The movie premieres in the Main Stage at 7:30pm on Saturday, the 27th of February with an encore matinee the next day at 3:00pm. It will also be available for virtual viewing from February 25-March 1, 2021 if you register for a Remote Theater link.