Finally, some good news: Shakespeare Dallas will present a series of socially distanced, outdoor live performances at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre beginning in late May.
"As you know, our park suffered catastrophic damage from the winter storm," says Raphael Parry, executive and artistic director at Shakespeare Dallas. "Thanks to our community and the City of Dallas, we have made significant progress toward reopening and feel confident in our ability to mount a successful summer season."
The company will present three unique productions: The Wars of the Roses, Hamlet Project, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised].
"The Wars of the Roses is for tried and true fans of Shakespeare and history," says Parry, "Hamlet Project is an innovative concept featuring two celebrated playwrights — Migdalia Cruz and Erik Ehn — with their take on Hamlet. Complete Works is a madcap romp through the entire canon. These shows will delight audiences of all ages."
Jenni Stewart, associate artistic director at Shakespeare Dallas, explains, "We’ve been anticipating our return to live theater for some time now and are honored to play a leading role in Dallas' arts recovery. By offering these outdoor performances, Shakespeare Dallas can provide much-needed employment for our local arts community."
The Wars of the Roses is a staged reading of Shakespeare’s history plays: Henry VI Part I, Henry VI Part II, Henry VI Part III, and Richard III. The reading, directed by Stewart, runs for one weekend only: Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, both at 12 pm.
Hamlet Project is a world-premiere performance event where actors will perform a one-person interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Shakespeare Dallas has commissioned playwrights Cruz and Ehn to interpret the entirety of Hamlet into solo performance plays. Participating actors — 16 in total — will be given the two unique scripts only 24 hours prior to curtain. Both solo plays will be presented each night. The event runs June 3-6 and June 10-13 at 8:15 pm. Sunday, June 6, will be a special Bark at the Park Night, with dogs allowed.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] parodies the plays of William Shakespeare, with all of them being performed in comically shortened form by three actors: Ryan Matthieu Smith, Marti Etheridge, and Shawn Gann. This play is directed by Parry and will run June 30-July 4, July 8-11, July 15-18, and July 22-24 at 8:15 pm. Guests can enjoy city fireworks during intermission on July 4 and a second Bark at the Park Night will be held on July 11.
For the safety of guests, staff, actors, and technicians, seating will be at a reduced capacity and monitored on a show-by-show basis. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite or at shakespearedallas.org.