While the curtain has closed on the professional portion of Kentucky Shakespeare’s record-breaking 54th season, bringing over 21,000 visitors to Old Louisville's Central Park, it's not time to pack up your bench blanket just yet.
There is a whole lot more Shakespeare yet to come.
Over the next three weeks, five more productions will be mounted on the stage, bringing with them the free pre-show performances, food trucks, and festive atmosphere that have dominated in the park since the beginning of June.
This Act II of the summer season is produced in conjunction with Kentucky Shakespeare’s Community Partners, four local groups who are working to perform quality productions of Shakespeare’s plays on the Central Park stage.
And, lest you think the quality might be lacking in this community oriented portion of the season, think again. Many members of the production teams and a majority of the actors have professional credits to their name, including all six cast members of Le Petomane’s As You Like It. (Half of that cast, Abigail Bailey Maupin, Gregory Maupin, and Kyle Ware just wrapped up the mainstage season with Kentucky Shakespeare.)
This is a special production for Le Petomane, as it marks their farewell performance. The ensemble, which has been together for ten years and over twenty new works, has chosen to disband to pursue other creative interests. The comedy As You Like It, with bantering would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick, will be performed August 5, 7, and 9.
Kathi E.B. Ellis leads her team from Shoestring Productions in Women of Will, an adaptation highlighting 40 female characters from 16 of Shakespeare’s plays and their interactions with each other. Says Ellis, “This is the third time I've explored this convention, and each time I come away with an increased appreciation of the breadth and depth of Shakespeare's women.” Performances of Women of Will are August 12, 14, and 16.
Savage Rose Classical Theatre brings the tragedy of King Lear to the Central Park stage August 13, 15, and 17, a remount of their production from March of this year, and the young performers of Walden Theatre will stage one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known tragedies, Pericles, on August 6, 8, and 10.
Opening the second half of the summer season is Kentucky Shakespeare’s own high school performance troupe, the Globe Players. Their performance of the comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost is the culmination of a six-week intensive program.
The season continues tonight, July 30, and runs every evening except Mondays through August 17 at Central Park in Old Louisville. Pre-show entertainment begins at 7:15 and mainstage productions begin at 8pm. The complete schedule can be found online.
Image: Courtesy of Kentucky Shakespeare