Rustic Mechanicals return to Taylor County with Bard & BBQ

Photo courtesy of The Rustic Mechanicals

KNOTTSVILLE—For years, the Rustic Mechanicals have been making their way to Taylor County to entertain residents and guests with their talented groups of actors. And after a brief hiatus, the Mechanicals will be returning to the area once more!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 2, when West Virginia’s only traveling Shakespeare group, part of the Vintage Theatre Company, will be making their way back to the area for a performance that guests are sure to enjoy.

This time, instead of familiar locations such as Toad Hall or the local coffee shop, the troupe will be performing al fresco in the scenic surroundings at Hartland Lake Marie Campground, located in Knottsville.

“I’ve been working with Jason Young for several years in assisting him in bringing Vintage Theatre Company performances to Grafton,” explained Campground owner Tom Hart. “Jason suggested using Hartland as the venue, as it offers a beautiful outdoor atmosphere, and perhaps could attract more of tourists and visitors to the area.”

“So, we came up with the idea of ‘Bard and Barbeque,’” he added.

Join Jason Young and the talented members of West Virginia’s premier professional Shakespeare troupe on this stop on their Sweet Smoke of Rhetoric Tour, as they perform Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Hailed as William Shakespeare’s most intellectual comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost will take guests through the tale of the King of Navarre and his three courtiers, Berowne, Dumaine and Longaville, who have sworn off all pleasures, for three years, in favor of a life of study.

However, when the Princess of France and her ladies enter the picture, the gentlemen soon realized that all bets are off, all failing to uphold their previous oaths.

The Rustic Mechanicals production is filled with music, romance, charm and a healthy dose of laugh-out-loud hilarity, making this a show you won’t want to miss. 

Before the players take the stage, attendees will be treated to a delicious barbeque style dinner.

Dinner will be served up beginning at 6:00 p.m., and the show starts at 7:00 p.m. 

To attend the dinner and the show, reservations must be made and tickets will be sold for $25 each. Those wishing to purchase tickets may do so by visiting

Love’s Labour’s Lost is being directed by Jim Warren, alongside Intimacy Director Jessica Morgan, and with Technical Direction by David Byard.

Credited with Costume Design is Jason A. Young; Hair and Make-Up Design, Samantha Huffman; Production Management, Haley Wilson; and Dramaturgy, John Shirley.

The Mechanicals featured in this production include newcomers Erica Cottrill, M. Eric Jett, Jackson Johnson, Jordan Kennedy Rea, Ben Long, Kyra McKillip, Kyia McGill, Tim Walker and troupe veterans Derek Hess, Samantha Huffman, Jason A. Young and Sarah Young.

The Rustic Mechanicals, have grown from a troupe of seven actors a grouo boasting a roster of over forty West Virginia artists. These actors are part of The Vintage Theatre Company, founded in 2012. The company is West Virginia’s professional, non-union, for-profit theatre company.

The focus of the Rustic Mechanicals is to make Shakespeare’s plays accessible to modern audiences through the use of dynamic casting techniques paired with Shakespeare’s traditional staging conditions.

Founder Jason A. Young says Vintage is dedicated to providing high quality theatrical education and professionally produced entertainment in West Virginia.

“Our goal is to get out into communities to bring something to an area that might not normally have it,” he expressed. “No matter how big or how small we want to be able to get into those communities and bring them those experiences.”


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