There's a whole new way to get people out into State Parks this year, thanks to the Summit Players, a group of Marquette University kids who have a love for the bard, and who have dedicated their summers to bringing it to people all over the state, through the State Parks.
According to their facebook page, " The Summit Players believe strongly in the value of theatre as a tool to improve our community, and hope that we can create some overlap between the arts, nature, and outdoor recreation through this “play out of a trunk,” Shakespeare in the State Parks venture."
The group started their venture last summer with a stripped-down, 6 actor version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which uses all of the original language of Shakespeare, but is edited to make the play friendly for all ages, and to fit into approximately one hour and fifteen minutes. This year, they've added a second production to their repertoire with As You Like It. They also offer a 45 minute free workshop, that opens up some of the mystery of Shakespeare to make it more accessible, and is perfect for school-aged children and families.
I was able to see their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream two weeks ago at Harrington Beach State Park, and it was both brilliant and hysterical! The shortage of actors lends an additional comedic aspect to an already humorous tale, but somehow the Summit Players make it even more fun to watch, with just the right amount of audience participation. Plus, there's no better setting than being outdoors for Midsummer.
This Saturday, July 30th, the players will be at Kohler Andrae State Park in Sheboygan, for two workshops and shows: 1 p.m workshop; 2 p.m. performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream; 5:30 p.m. workshop; and, a 7 p.m. performance of As You Like It. I wouldn't miss it, if I were you!
For the Summit Players complete summer schedule, list of State Parks, and showtimes, go to: http://www.summitplayerstheatre.com/p/dates.html