A sure sign of summer is the appearance of the outdoor stage, bleachers, tents and concession stands that signal the imminent arrival of Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak’s Starr Jaycee Park. Two of Shakespeare’s most winsome comedies — “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Much Ado About Nothing” will be presented by the Water Works Theatre Company in this 13th annual Shakespeare in the Park event, running August 1 to11, 2013.
Billed as Michigan’s biggest and best outdoor professional theatre event, the stage productions are complemented by the opportunity for students to participate in classes through the Water Works Academy and KidsAct July 29 – August 10.
Water Works Theatre Company has also announced that veteran actor Paul Hopper (“70, Girls, 70” at Meadow Brook Theatre; “Dead Man’s Shoes” at Performance Network Theatre) will make his WWTC directorial debut of Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives of Windsor.” Water Works Artistic Director Sara Wolf says, “We are thrilled and privileged to have such a longstanding theater professional standing at the helm of our main stage production, particularly one that has contributed much talent and creativity to Water Works’ previous seasons. We are also thrilled that veteran Water Works director Barton Bund is returning with his energy and creativity for our family show production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” This interpretation will no doubt entertain all ages, as well as those who are either new to or unsure of Shakespeare.”
“The Merry Wives of Windsor”
Bawdy and hilarious, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is an antic romp with Shakespeare’s most famous clown, Falstaff. This show features Water Works favorite Sara Catheryn Wolf and introducing Richard Redman as the incorrigible Falstaff. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and 5 p.m. Sundays August 1-11.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” features: Kevin Barron – Slendor; Lynda Berge – Mistress Ford; James Busam – Host; Alastar Dimitrie – Pistol, Rugby; Jocelyn Ethridge – Mistress Quickly; Kyle Grant – Fenton, Bardolph; Tobin Hissong*; Chris Mick – Dr. Caius; Sean Paraventi – Shallow, John; Peter Prouty – Mr. Ford; Richard Redman* – Falstaff; Emilio Rodriguez – Hugh Evans; Nick Rowley – Simple, Nym; Katie Terpstra – Anne Page, Robin; Sara Catheryn Wolf* – Mistress Page; Paul Hopper – Director; and Sarah Drum – Stage Manager. (*Member of Actors’ Equity Association)
Tickets for “Merry Wives” ($20) are on sale now at www.waterworkstheatre.com, by calling (248) 399-3727, or one hour prior to performances at the Starr Jaycee Park box office. Outside food and beverages are prohibited in the Shakespeare in the Park outdoor theatre, but concessions and locally made beer and wine will be for sale during “Merry Wives” performances with proper ID.
“Much Ado About Nothing”
Presented as Water Works’ Daylight Family Show, this production of “Much Ado About Nothing” takes the classic romantic comedy to summer camp. In Director Barton Bund’s re-imagined story, Camp Messina for Girls is turned upside down when a handsome prince and his goofball entourage descend on the idyllic setting. The battle of the sexes – with more than the usual twists and turns – proves the timeless charm of this Shakespeare favorite. “Much Ado About Nothing” is presented as a family-friendly one-hour daylight performance Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. August 3-11.
“Much Ado About Nothing” features: Halle Bins – Hero; Jaclynn Cherry – Ursula; Linda Hammell – Leonato; Zach Hendrickson – Borachio; Dan Johnson – Benedick; Andrew Papa- Don John; DeAnnah Kleitz-Singleton – Dogberry; Marcus Laban – Conrade; Michael Lopetrone – Don John; Sarah Quigley – Margaret; Even Speck – Claudio; Ellen Stachowicz – Verges; Jamie Weeder – Beatrice; Barton Bund – Director; and Emily Pierce – Stage Manager.
Tickets ($8) are on sale now at the Water Works Theatre website, by calling (248) 399-3727, or at the event, one hour prior to performances, at the Starr Jaycee Park box office. Outside food and beverages are prohibited inside the Shakespeare in the Park theatre, but family- friendly concessions will be available.
Educational experiences are also available as part of Shakespeare in the Park, with special classes scheduled in Starr Jaycee Park July 29 – August 10.
Water Works Academy is a one-week intensive for high school and pre-college students that gives young actors the chance to create their own play in the park using a “summer stock” company approach. Working professionals guide students as they embark on the adventure of writing, directing, stage managing, designing and performing a one-of-a-kind piece of theatrical magic on the Shakespeare stage in Starr Jaycee Park. Water Works Academy classes are July 29 – August 3, tuition is $200 per student and available now online. Registration is limited to 30 students.
KidsAct is a one week educational experience for students entering grades 1-8. Water Works’ professional staff will encourage students’ natural confidence and inspire their creative expression. Students love the open park setting and revel in discovering the basics of Shakespeare, safe stage combat, dance, improv and scene work. KidsAct classes are August 8-9 with elementary performances the evening of August 9 and middle school performances August 10. Tuition is $200 per student and available now at the WWTC website
More information about classes and tickets to the Shakespeare in the Park performances can be found online.