Macbeth at Picasso Pointe

After being held at Big Four Station for three years Shakespeare in the Park will be staged at Picasso Pointe on April 26, in an effort to draw more attention to the NoCo Arts & Cultural District. 

For the fourth straight year Kentucky Shakespeare will be bringing its Shakespeare in the Parks tour to Jeffersonville — but this time at a new location.

“Macbeth,” the story of a Scottish nobleman and the quest for control of the throne of Scotland, will be staged at Picasso Pointe near the Vintage Fire Museum at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26.

In past years the Shakespeare in the Parks events have been staged in the pavilion at Big Four Station. This year it moves to the new Picasso Pointe pocket park in the 700 block of Spring Street next to the Vintage Fire Museum.

Named for its Picasso-esque sculptural lights dotted around the perimeter, Picasso Pointe is a feature of the Jeffersonville Arts & Cultural District, dubbed NoCo for its location North of Court Avenue.

“I am so excited to see a cultural event actually happening in our Arts & Cultural District,”said Dawn Spyker, public art administrator for the city. “This area is growing and will really be an area that can enrich our community’s lives.”

NoCo, situated on 22 acres of what was once largely blighted land, also features a whimsically painted water tank, two museums, a community arts center, and Maker 13.

First staged in 1606, “Macbeth” is well known for its themes of ambition and guilt and its iconic three witches. The free evening kicks off at 5 p.m. with live music by Swing ‘39, a gypsy jazz band; and presentations by the Jeffersonville Public Library on Deconstructing Shakespeare.

“They will have handouts and will be talking through some of the points of the play,” Spyker said. “It will really help people grasp the prose. They’ll be talking about some of the catchphrases that are used often in the show and break down the characters.”

Chairs will be provided, but guests are free to bring their own to the family-centered park or to find a seat at the 70-foot long community table. Interactive games, including hopscotch and four-square are part of the park’s permanent installations.

The Jeffersonville Arts Alliance will be selling refreshments from 5 to 8 p.m., but guests may bring their own snacks as well.

Shakespeare in the Park will be the first major event in Picasso Pointe, and Spyker hopes it will spark an interest in the entire NoCo area.

“I really want to see NoCo enter the community’s vocabulary,” she said. “I want them to say, ‘let’s see what’s happening in NoCo.’”

Jay Ellis, director of Jeffersonville Main Street, agrees.

“I consider NoCo to be every bit a part of downtown,” he said. The organization’s popular Trolley Hops now extend into NoCo. “There’s an overlap of the boundaries there. They complement each other fabulously. It’s just good for everybody.”

“There’s a lot of positive buzz and that’s a good thing,” he said. “Looking at the progress so far and envisioning the future — it’s exciting.”

NoCo gives people another reason to visit Jeffersonville.

“It’s been a journey to make downtown relevant to people’s lives again,” Ellis said. “The walkability, the riverfront, the arts district, the shops and restaurants — those are things people are looking for these days.”

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