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‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in an Outdoor Setting

The Bard

What more perfect setting for a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” than a bucolic property tucked into the woods in Sharon, Conn.?

In one of the Bard’s most popular and universally appealing comedies, the woods become a place where, magically, anything can happen — and many things certainly do happen, with fairies and fools and love potions and, in the end, a trio of weddings. 

It was for these multiple nuptials that Felix Mendelssohn wrote  the triumphant (and now traditional) “Wedding March” that follows the vows and kiss of bliss in most Western-nation weddings.

This summer, in the spirit of “I’ve got a backyard, let’s put on a show!” a troupe of theater folk has formed Shakespeare in Sharon. Their first production is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Jane Farnol and starring a cast of actors from the region and from New York City.

Farnol is one of the founding members of Shakespeare in Sharon, along with Katherine and David Almquist and John Taylor. 

The Almquists (veterans of many local theater productions) are hosting the show on their property, with woods, a pond and a willow tree. 

Taylor shares his talents and training as an actor, with a career that began in England with classic repertoire. 

Part of the inspiration for Shakespeare in Sharon, Taylor said, is that, “I wanted to get back to theater’s roots: Actors tumbling out of wagons onto village greens, performing, passing the hat and then passing on to the next town.”

There won’t be any hat passing; tickets are $25 per car (cash or check). The audience is asked to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets. The property will be open an hour before showtime and picnics are encouraged. 

The play has been edited lightly to a length of 90 minutes.

The show opens June 11 and will be performed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until June 26. Shows on Fridays are at 5:30 p.m.; on Saturdays they are at 2 and 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2 p.m. The venue is 71 Keeler Road in Sharon. To learn more, go to www.shakespeareinsharon.org.

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