Shakespeare in Delaware Park returns Thursday night

The Tempest and Love's Labour's Lost to run this summer at Delaware Park

Mike Baggerman
June 20, 2019 - 3:00 am

Shakespeare in Delaware Park. June 19, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Thursday marks the return of Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

This summer is the 44th year of the free plays for anyone to enjoy at the hill inside the park across from the Albright Knox Art Gallery by Marcy Casino. The first run of shows will feature a local cast performing The Tempest from June 20 to July 14 followed by a three-week run of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost from July 25 to August 18.

"We do have a new start time this year," Shakespeare in Delaware Park Executive Managing Director Lisa Ludwig told WBEN. "We're starting at 7:15 p.m. our shows instead of 7:30 p.m. On our opening night we have a big reception prior to the show if people want to get tickets and have food, drink, and reserved seating before the show. Other than that, it's absolutely free for people to come see us."

The shows run Tuesdays through Sundays.

"It's really a unique experience in Western New York to be able to pack a picnic and sit out in a beautiful Olmsted Park under the stars and see a professional production happen in front of you," Ludwig said.

While The Temptest features a terrible storm leading to a shipwreck, Ludwig hopes that art doesn't imitate life.

"We don't want it to be raining really," she said. "We're actors and we want to pretend that it's raining but the beginning of it does start out with a storm leading to a shipwreck."

The rain in the region coupled with last week's corporate challenge led to a muddy mess at Delaware Park, which the Olmsted Parks Conservancy Estimated as $20,000 worth of damage. Fortunately, Shakespeare in Delaware Park wasn't affected by the damage associated with the race, but Ludwig said it caused some delays with stage installation because of the condition of the grounds.

The stage itself will take on similarities to England's Globe Theatre.

"We're used to it so we were careful," she said. "Our part of the park is in great condition right now."

If you've read Shakespeare in school but never enjoyed it or had difficulties with it, Ludwig hopes that your opinions on it can change by attending one of their free shows.

"Shakespeare is meant to be seen and heard," she said. "To sit there and listen to the words and watch the actions is a totally different experience. It's not that daunting high school experience of 'READ THIS AND UNDERSTAND'. It's our job as the performers and directors to help you go on that journey and understand what you're seeing and hearing."

Much like in Shakespeare's time, a hat is passed during intermission for the organization to collect donations from viewers. Though the show is free, Shakespeare in Delaware Park does have reserved seating called "25 for 25", which has chairs with your name on it so that you can get a better view.

See more about Shakespeare in Delaware Park by clicking HERE

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