Shakespeare at Burroughs Park

Most people don’t know Shakespeare created more than 1,000 modern words and phrases still in use today. For native Houstonian David Born, knowing the facts is all part of transforming into Shakespeare.

“An overall understanding of the character and his work is important, so you can really present an even and correct representation of Shakespeare,” he said. “You need to know his biography, personal and professional history; the types of plays he wrote and when he wrote them; how poetry works; and the devices he employed in his personal life.” Born will appear as Shakespeare during Precinct 4’s Shakespeare Festival Saturday, April 21 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Burroughs Park.

Born, a professional stage and film actor, has played Shakespeare for the last 16 years as both a stage and character actor. A Houston Shakespeare Festival veteran, he has appeared in more than 12 of Shakespeare’s plays and more than 100 plays total. He has also appeared in more than 60 movies and TV shows such as Friday Night Lights Walker, Texas Ranger, Prison Break, Community, Constantine, Underground, and Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Although many think of acting as memorizing lines, Born plays a more dynamic role at Precinct 4’s Shakespeare Festival. As a character actor, Born will roam the park interacting with the public as Shakespeare would.

That kind of role requires you to understand your character, he said. “You need the ability to be a speaker, a one-man monologue or show,” he said. “To respond to what has been asked. To create from what is around you. To follow your impulse and not be afraid.”

Despite the challenge, Born said introducing a new generation to Shakespeare adds meaning to the role. “Sharing the arts and this great man’s work with children and adults is a major part of playing Shakespeare,” he said. “I want to engage them and let them know that Shakespeare wasn’t that different from us.”

Born will be one of many roaming entertainers at Precinct 4’s Shakespeare Festival. Attendees will be able to enjoy crafts, entertainers, face painting, games, and food trucks. Performances of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet take place rain or shine Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. Costumes are encouraged. Theater-style seating will be available under the covered pavilion at Burroughs Park on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone is invited to bring their own refreshments or purchase items from the food trucks during the festival.

Established in 2013, Precinct 4’s Shakespeare in the Shade presentations are part of Commissioner R. Jack Cagle’s educational and recreational commitment to Harris County residents. Precinct 4’s programs serve people of all ages, regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or physical ability. Burroughs Park is located at located at 9738 Hufsmith Road in Tomball, 77375.