Shakespeare-themed programs

Summer Reading Program

Musical Instrument Demo



Renaissance Ensemble

Special programming for 2016

Music of Shakespeare's Time
William Shakespeare
The 400th Anniversary
Long Live Shakespeare!

Presented by Anne & Rob Burns as

All programs feature replica Renaissance instruments and commentary about the instruments and music selections. Demos include more detail about the instruments.


Summer Reading Program and
Children's Program for Libraries, Schools and Community Centers

The setting: On a lovely summer evening A Reasonable Facsimile packs a picnic and some musical instruments. But the night is soon interrupted by nocturnal insects and animals—even mischievous sprites. The visitors play along on Renaissance tunes with a little help from the audience. Fun music and funny action for the whole family with a nod to Shakespeare's great comedy! More info here

"I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones."
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 4, Scene 1

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Musical Instrument Demo for Schools, Libraries and Community Centers
Upper Elementary Ages to Adult

Anne and Rob Burns, as A Reasonable Facsimile, demonstrate musical instruments of William Shakespeare's time. The audience will enjoy hearing lively music popular in the time of the Bard on replica Renaissance musical instruments mentioned in his scripts.

"Wilt thou have music? Hark! Apollo plays."
Taming of the Shrew, Induction, Scene 2

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Concert for General Audiences at Libraries, Festivals and Community Centers

In this concert, A Reasonable Facsimile introduces Renaissance dance music and songs from inside and outside the plays of Shakespeare. Musicians of Shakespeare's company selected music to drive the plays and to keep the both the peasants and the nobility happy between scenes. A Reasonable Facsimile selects appealing music from Elizabethan England to invoke the spirit of those earlier musicians and to delight modern audiences. To lend authenticity to the Shakespearean sound, the duo plays on copies of Renaissance instruments including recorders, flutes, strings and percussion.

"What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!"
"Marvelous sweet music!"
The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 3

Audio excerpt:
Three Merry Men/Strawberry Leaves
(Text from Twelfth Night)

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Madrigals, canzonets (short songs) and ballads by Morley, Weelkes, Ravenscroft and other composers of William Shakespeare's time are performed by a trio of women including Anne Burns. Lively and sad, quick and mad, this music can be every bit as dramatic as the plays of the time. Canzonet will find the missing link between period songs and Shakespeare's works.

"This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one."
The Winter's Tale, Act 4, Scene 4

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Old Oaks Renaissance Consort

This is an augmented version of A Reasonable Facsimile's concert, above. Anne & Rob are joined by 2 to 3 musicians to complete Old Oaks Renaissance Consort. The result is a wonderfully rich sound in 4 or 5 part versions of music Shakespeare's time. Featured instruments are recorders, flutes, violas da gamba and lute.

E-mail us for bookings and information

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