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Cultural Arts News

Posted on: July 6, 2017

Love, Forgiveness The Focus Of Shakespeare In the Park Play July 15 In Geneva

Shakespeare in the Park
Update: Due to flooding at Island Park from storms the week of July 10, the event has been relocated to RiverPark, 151 N. River Lane. The show will go on!

Original News Release (with venue change)
A night of comedy and culture returns to Geneva’s RiverPark on Saturday, July 15, at the annual Shakespeare in the Park event. This free performance starts at 6 p.m.

The Midsummer Theatre troupe will perform “As You Like It,” which explores the transformative power of love, and how it turns enemies into allies. Rosalind, one of Shakespeare's most inspiring characters, is the daughter of a banished duke who falls in love with Orlando, the disinherited son of one of the duke's friends. When she is banished from the court by her uncle, Duke Frederick, Rosalind takes on the appearance of a boy called Ganymede. She travels with her cousin Celia and the jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live in exile.

By the play's end Ganymede, once again Rosalind, marries her Orlando. Two other sets of lovers are also wed, one of them Celia and Orlando's mean brother Oliver. As Oliver becomes a gentler, kinder young man so the Duke conveniently changes his ways and turns to religion and so that the exiled Duke, father of Rosalind, can rule once again.

This 90-minute family-friendly performance is designed to entertain children and adults alike. Double entendres, slapstick humor, physical gags and dynamic actors are sure to provide laughs for all ages.

Much of the play takes place in the Forest of Arden, said troupe director Katrina Syrris. "The forest is so whimsical and fantastical and the show is so wildly optimistic," she said.

In choosing the brightly colored Renaissance costumes, Syrris drew inspiration from the concept of chakras, the ancient Hindu system of expressing where energy is located in the body, up and down the spine. Each chakra has a color representation, and each character has a dominant trait that corresponds with a chakra color. Additionally, actors will be adorned with flower crowns, boutonnieres and corsages.

"It’s going to be so visually appealing," she said. “Such optimistic whimsy can only be expressed with vivid colors and expressive florals.”

Now in its 11th year, Shakespeare in the Park is presented by the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission. Admission is free ($5 suggested donation) and seating begins at 5 p.m. A pre-show dance performance begins at 6 p.m. followed by the play. The audience is encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic dinners to enjoy the Ravinia-style theater experience.

Stockholm's will sell sandwiches, chips and drinks while Graham's will be serving up ice cream.

The Geneva Public Library District will offer a preshow Shakespeare-inspired interactive craft activity for elementary school-aged children at 5 p.m. at the park.

RiverPark is located at 151 N. River Lane near Peyton Street. 

For more information, visit www.genevarts.org or “like” Geneva Shakespeare in the Park on Facebook.
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