By Grace Runkel
Warning: This is not your English teacher’s Shakespeare.
For 51 years Kentucky Shakespeare has been performing various works of William Shakespeare in Central Park. What started out as a small theater troupe in 1949, has grown into a local tradition.
Every June Kentucky Shakespeare puts on a summer-long event called Shakespeare in the Park. Every Tuesday through Sunday at 8:30 theater-goers make their way to Central Park in Louisville for free entertainment. Their first production of the season is The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
While on my way to see The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), I began to mentally prepare myself for several monotonous hours full of stiff actors babbling in a Shakespearean tongue, but I was quickly proven wrong.
Romeo and Juliet was the first play performed and consisted of a Juliet who wore a Snooki styled wig and a balcony scene performed on a construction lift. These, combined with many other slightly off details, transformed this over-told play into a hilarious comedy.
Some of the other highlights of the evening were a rapper’s version of Othello, the Moor of Venice and a mash-up of all of Shakespeare’s comedies.
The best part of Shakespeare in the Park is that admittance is completely free. Drinks are available for purchase, but many people bring their own snacks and drinks. Another popular item to bring is a blanket or cushion since wooden benches are only comfortable for so long.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) will be performed through June 26, but if you cannot make it to that show do not fear. Beginning June 28 and going through July 10, Shakespeare in the Park will be putting on As You Like It. Then Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed on July 14 through the 17. The last show of the season, The Orphan of Chao, will be presented by the University of Louisville and will play July 19 through the 24.
For a cheap way to spend your summer nights, a trip to Shakespeare in the Park cannot be beat.
For more information about dates and times visit http://www.kyshakespeare.com/Kentucky_Shakespeare/Welcome.html.