“The course of true love never does run smooth”
SHAKESPEARE ON THE SOUND PRESENTS
“A M I D S U M M E R N I G H T’S D R E A M” BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
DIRECTED BY CLAIRE SHANNON KELLY PINKNEY PARK (177 ROWAYTON AVENUE, NORWALK, CT)
PREVIEWS BEGIN THURSDAY, JUNE 14 OPENING NIGHT IS SATURDAY, JUNE 16 PERFORMANCES CONTINUE THROUGH JULY 1
New York, NY (May 22, 2018) Shakespeare on the Sound (Claire Shannon Kelly, Artisitic Director and Christine Larsen, Managing Director) will celebrate its 23rd season with Shakespeare’s beloved comedy A Midsummer Night Dream, directed by Artistic Director Claire Shannon Kelly. Set in the Jane Austen time period, audiences will be transported into a magical forest where they will embark on a sentimental quest together with Shakespeare’s iconic characters. Performances will begin on Thursday, June 14 in Pinkney Park (177 Rowayton Avenue, Norwalk, CT). Opening Night is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Performances will continue through July 1.
“I am delighted that we are bringing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Pinkney Park this June,” says Ms. Kelly, whose focus for this production is the exploration of love. “At the start of the play, each character is experiencing some form of idealized love: romantic, love of a parent for a child, or a passion for creating art,” she explains. “Over the course of the play each character’s idealized love is challenged and tested to the breaking point, for, only by experiencing extreme hardship is true love clearly revealed.”
Together with the design team, Ms. Kelly re-structures the world of Athens to reflect the Regency time period. Capturing the look of a formal drawing room leading into a rigid English garden, the set features a larger than life forest with giant flowers, acorns, and tree roots that will make the audience feel that they too have shrunk to the size of a fairy. The characters are also channeling various species of birds that Ms. Kelly encountered during her world travels: Puck, a mischievous fairy who often shape shifts and mimics other voices based the Australian Lyre bird that can mirror sounds from car alarms to other animals. Oberon, King of the fairies, is based on a peacock, and Titania, Queen of the fairies, the African lilac breasted roller.
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream will feature an ensemble cast including Will Adams, Roberta Aherns, Leo Bevilacqua, Winsome Brown, Meredith Casey, John Hardin, Wynn Harmon, Brandon Mendez Homer, Lorenzo Jackson, Henry Jenkinson, Lily Lipman, Kristen Misthopoulus, Andrew Mount, Sebastian Roy, Rachael Schefrin, Graham Stevens, Anne Whitaker and Jae Woo.
The creative team for A Midsummer Night Dream is comprised of Brian Prather (scenic design), Elivia Bovenzi (costume design), Jamie Roderick (lighting design), Emily Auciello (sound design), Rod Kinter (fight direction), Dianna Cortez (vocal coach), Maia Robbins-Zust (technical director), Sultana Gardizi (casting director) and Ed Herman (production stage manager). This year’s production is being produced in association with Plan Bee Collective – Allison Bressi and Nicole Martorana.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins performances June 14 and continues through July 1. The production runs Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30PM. The box office opens at 3:30pm and the park opens at 4pm.
Every night at 6:30pm, one hour in advance of the main stage production, there will be a special 30-minute A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Kids presentation for children performed by the Apprentice Company.
Admission for Tuesday and Wednesday performances is a suggested donation of $20 (adults) and $10 (students and seniors).
Admission for performances on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday is $20 (adults) and $10 (seniors and students).
Reserved seating is available for $50 at every performance and children 12 and under are FREE. Tickets and reserved seats are available at www.shakespeareonthesound.org.
The Shakespeare on the Sound summer season is sponsored by Laurel Road Bank, The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood, Bankwell, Robinson & Cole LLP, Fairfield County Bank, BMW of Darien, Mini of Fairfield County, CT Commission of the Arts, and Moffly Media.
MORE ABOUT SHAKESPEARE ON THE SOUND
Claire Shannon Kelly (Artistic Director) most recently she directed SOS’s immersive 2017 production of Macbeth was nominated for several BroadwayWorld CT awards including best director. Additionally for Shakespeare on the Sound she has directed Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which won the BroadwayWorld CT award for Best Ensemble Cast in a play, and As You Like It. Educationally Claire directed SOS’s touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream ,and co-created and directed their K-5 touring production Let’s Play Shakespeare!. Additionally she directed SOS’s anti-bullying program Speaking Daggers. In 2015 she devised and directed a children’s version of All’s Well That Ends and directed a new play, The Séance. As a Teaching Artist Claire has taught theater to students from pre-school through college. She traveled to Zambia, Africa in 2017 to teach Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tujatane School and will be returning to teach there again in 2018. Currently she is in development with two new plays: The Family and Wordsmith. She has worked at the Guthrie Theater, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, the Ordway Music Theater, and the George Street Playhouse among others. Claire has holds a Masters of Arts degree from New York University in Educational Theater.
Christine Larsen (Managing Director) is an entrepreneurial executive who has reinvented herself many times while living and working from coast to coast. She has been a highly successful professional fundraiser for the past 25 years serving as the Chief Development Officer of The Boys & Girls Club of Stamford, The Palace Theatre/Stamford Center for the Arts, The Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk, Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, San Jose, CA. She was trained to be a development officer at Notre Dame University and spearheaded capital campaigns to build two catholic schools. Chris, a graduate of the University of Iowa, began her career as a high school English, Speech and Drama teacher, teaching for six years in private schools in the Midwest, and directing over a dozen plays and musicals. She developed a love of Shakespeare and taught Julius Caesar in her sophomore English classes and directed over a dozen plays and musicals including Godspell, Anything Goes, Damn Yankees, The Man Who Came to Dinner and You Can’t Take It With You. She founded two community theatres, directed productions and had leading roles in Vanities, Chapter Two and The Mouse That Roared. Chris also was an television and radio advertising executive and voiceover talent for numerous commercials, winning several ad federation awards. In addition to her work as a professional fundraiser, she has raised millions over the years as a volunteer for Fairfield University, Fairfield Prep, The American Cancer Society of the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Junior League of San Jose. She received the first place national fundraising award from the National Association of Junior Leagues and was a presenter at their 1998 annual conference. She also was a member of The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Chicago, where she chaired “The Oz Park Festival”, a medieval faire. Chris and her husband, Eric, reside in Southport and are members of The Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, Westport.
Allison Bressi + Nicole Martorana, Plan Bee Collective (Producer) Plan Bee Collective is a performing arts producing agency based in New York. Established by producers Allison Bressi and Nicole Martorana, recent collaborators include Tituss Burgess, César Alvarez, Martha Clarke, Bill Irwin, Sam Pinkleton, and Sammy Miller and the Congregation. www.planbeecollective.com
Shakespeare on the Sound is committed to producing affordable, professional open-air productions of the plays of William Shakespeare and related authors in Fairfield County. Working in collaboration with area civic, business and educational institutions, Shakespeare on the Sound presents an annual theatre festival, which brings great dramatic works to a broad audience, creating a forum for learning, appreciation and celebration. Our Educational programming goal is to build community through the arts, giving the works of Shakespeare a vibrant life beyond the summer festival with a variety of school, library, adult education, and art programs as a means to reach a diverse cross- section of people of all ages and economic backgrounds.
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