Mud Bay Bards founding member to participate in Shakespeare’s Way: a Journey of Imagination

The 146-mile trail that Shakespeare himself may have traversed starts in Stratford-upon-Avon

Sarah Brewer, a founding member Pier One Theatre’s Mud Bay Bards, departs for Europe in early September to participate in “Shakespeare’s Way: a Journey of Imagination,” a 146-mile walk that traces the route Shakespeare followed from home at Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe theater where his plays were originally performed.

This year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a collection of 36 of his original plays.

Donations supporting Brewer’s participation in the event will benefit Shakespeare’s Hospice and Homer’s Pier One Theatre.

There are a few sections of the route that are revised due industrialization and landscape development in the past centuries, including, for example, the Heathrow Airport, according to Brewer.

Brewer will attend the event on her own. When she first talked to the Shakespeare’s Way Association, the organization that coordinates the event, “they were very excited to hear someone from Alaska might be attending.”

“I don’t think that happens often; it’s typically more of a local event,” she said.

Brewer said she came across the guidebook for the event three years ago at Title Wave Books in Anchorage and decided “one day I’m going to do this.”

“This Folio anniversary year seemed like a good time to make it happen.”

Brewer described the importance of the First Folio collection.

It was constructed by his contemporaries several years after Shakespeare’s death and “is one of the sole reasons we still have access to some of those plays like ‘The Scottish Play’ or ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’,” Brewer said.

“At the time, playwrights didn’t publish the same way we do now. Scripts were often kept in private so that compositions weren’t stolen and produced by other theater companies and groups.”

Brewer’s personal background in theater began with the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre. The organization holds an annual event called the Bard-A-Thon, during which they take one week and read everything Shakespeare had ever written for 24 hours a day.

“As a 16-year-old we would go and buy bags of food, bring a sleeping bag and read as much Shakespeare as we could until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore. The organization would set up partitions where you go sleep for awhile and then wake up and start reading some more. That event is so romantically ingrained in my formative years. Later, as an adult, I started performing for the company in their plays,” Brewer said.

The company is now located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus.

The Fairbanks event is what Brewer used to construct Homer’s “Second Sunday Shakespeare” events. It’s a collaboration between Friends of Homer Library, Pier One Theatre and the Kachemak Bay campus. Members of the community can join together at the campus or by Zoom and read a play scheduled for each month. The next reading will not take place until November but information can be found on the city website at

For “Shakespeare’s Way,” Brewer plans to complete the trail in 10 days. She has arranged to stay at small inns and taverns along the way.

The end of the trail, the Globe Theater, was reconstructed in 1997 by American-born actor and director Sam Wannamaker, according to Brewer.

Part of Brewer’s fundraising efforts for the walk will go toward Pier One Theatre and the Mud Bay Bards, the branch of the theater responsible for continued production of local Shakespeare performances. The rest will go to Shakespeare’s Hospice, the beneficiaries of Shakespeare’s Way Association.

Donations can be made at the Pier One Theatre office or the Homer Book Store.