Congratulations to the Depot Apprentices in the Shakespeare-in-the-Park program, who took their fine production of The Merchant of Venice to Middlebury on Aug. 14, where a shortened version was presented along with a short version of The Tempest with a young Middlebury cast. This was a first for us, but hopefully not the last time our young actors can enjoy such an opportunity.
That was the first installment of our annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park Festival. The second installment will take place in Ballard Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 4, when the professional actors of American Studio Theater will present Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Daniel Billet. Dan's standout performance as Henry V here two years ago was, for my money, one of the finest I've ever seen of a Shakespearian role. In this year's show, Dan will play Benedick, while the equally astonishing Carrie Treadwell will play Beatrice—two lovers whose verbal sparring is one of the crown jewels of Shakespearian comedy and romance. As always, the show is free.
If you'd like to support these productions (which do cost money), please buy a raffle ticket or three for the beautiful painting which was donated by Wadhams artist Paul Rossi. Or a T-shirt, which we'll be selling at the performance, and which Paul Rossi also created. Paul's painting is on display at the Wadhams Free Library. Raffle tickets are $5 for one, or $10 for three tickets. They're available at the Wadhams Library, the Westport Library, Ernie's Market, Dragon Press Bookstore (next to Ernie's), Everybody's Market, and Dogwood Bread Company. The drawing will take place after the performance, but you don't have to be there to win the painting. Call me at 962-4892 for more info.
Thank you, Paul Rossi, for being such a great friend of the Shakespeare festival.
Meanwhile, don't miss Fully Committed, a wild one-man comedy that runs at the Depot from Aug. 26 through Sept. 4. Call the box office at 962-8680 for more info. And swing by Ted Cornell's Crooked Brook Art Farm on Sayre Road in Wadhams, where Ted's provocative, kinetic art is available for sale.