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    Picking up a summer job is a great way to make the most out of your free time between school semesters. You can earn a little extra money and maybe even learn a new skill or two. But for Kentucky Shakespeare’s Maggie Lou Rader, her summer job is all about celebrating her passion for theatre.

    A citizen of Cincinnati, Rader has taken up a temporary residence in Old Louisville this summer to participate in the local theatre group’s Shakespeare Festival. While working as an actress in all three of this year’s productions, she is portraying Adrian in “The Tempest,” the Lady of the Induction in “The Taming of the Shrew,” and one of the frightening witches in “Macbeth.” And though her busy schedule keeps her on her toes, she sat down with Louisville.com to talk about why she wouldn’t want to spend her summer any other way.

    Louisville.com: How long have you been working with Kentucky Shakespeare?

    Rader: I lived here five years ago and did the Shakespeare Festival then, but then I ended up getting a job in Cincinnati and I moved there. But I’ve always loved Louisville and Matt [Wallace, Producing Artistic Director of Kentucky Shakespeare] has done so much great work for the company and the moment I heard that Matt got his job as Director, I decided I would go audition again last year.

    Louisville.com: Of this season’s three plays, which is your favorite?

    Rader: ‘Macbeth’ for sure. ‘The Tempest’ is very close to my heart. It’s a lot more fun for actors because it’s Shakespeare’s last solo-written play so it’s very sweet for us to be a part of it, but it’s not a-laugh-a-minute like ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is for the audience. And I love ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ it’s a wonderful production, but it’s a very early comedy and it’s not my favorite. But ‘Macbeth’ never gets old.

    Louisville.com: When you’re not working with Kentucky Shakespeare, which Cincinnati-based theatre programs are you a part of?

    Rader: Well in addition to being an actor for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, I’m an education associate and we have this great program called Project38 where we have 38 different schools and they come together and they each have a Shakespeare play and do a project based on it and present it at the festival in April each year.

    Louisville.com: Which is your favorite play to work on with Project38?

    Rader: The school that had ‘Macbeth’ last year told the story through modern music and the sweet young girl who played Lady Macbeth sand ‘Take Me to Church’ and I just started bawling. Those kids made me fall in love with the play all over again.

    Louisville.com: Kentucky Shakespeare has announced that ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will be one of the productions for next year’s Shakespeare Festival. If you decide to come back to Kentucky Shakespeare again next year, which role in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ would you want to play?

    Rader: Lady Capulet! I love playing small parts and Lady Capulet is, I think, a role that actresses would overlook as being either sad or mad the entire play, but I think there’s so much more to her. I love diving into those kinds of characters.

    You can join in on the fun and see Maggie Lou Rader in all of her roles this summer as the Shakespeare Festival wraps up its wonderful 55th season in Old Louisville's Central Park. This year’s plays are currently being performed in rotation at the C. Douglass Ramey Amphitheater until July 26th. Shows begin at 8pm each night and as always, admission is free! For a complete schedule of performances, visit Kentucky Shakespeare’s website.   

    Photo courtesy of Kentucky Shakespeare. 

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    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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