Freewill Shakespeare Festival returning to Hawrelak Amphitheater

Century after century – despite plagues and pandemics – Shakespeare recovers.

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Century after century — pests and pandemics notwithstanding Shakespeare recovers.

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That’s a chbard trait that david Horak, artistic director ofor the Free Shakespeare Festivalfeel blessed by celebrate like him get ready for next few weeks start in Hawrelak Park.

We’ve been dealing with COVID for two years and we’ve reinvented ourselves to keep the company running and luckily it’s been a success,” says Horak, who took command only before the virus reached in 2020. “Shakespeare is kind of resilient; there’s a reason these pieces have been made for 400 years and continue.”

the 2020 festival has been postponed to 2021. Even then, summarizedsmall cast versions of MMuch Ado About Nothing and Macbeth ended up in Edmonton Fringe instead of not 1.000 seats anfTheater at Hawrelak Park – long the spectacular home of Shakespeare’s festival.

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Still, it is worth noting that Both productions enjoyed an even wider audience in 2021 than usual. It is because a creative pivot saw the tiny but tenaciouss company appearing not only on Fringe but also at the birthday parties oned community leagues across town.

Horak waits some of the people who stumbled on shows in your neighborhoods last year can be persuaded to buy a ticket to this year’s iteration in Hawrelak. an alert for Free will newbies and devotees equal: 2022 perhaps the last time that festival is seen in your perennially popular spot for at least three years. (The City of Edmonton Says It’s Closing There iswrelak Park in 2023 for a graduate remodeling.)

Horak and his team started researchingthere are alternative locationsbut there are no comparables covered spaces for the festival (and other eventss like Symphony Under the Sky) to run outdoors rain or shine.

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“Everyone is struggling and trying to make friends on the city council and I hope I can bring people here and say, look what we do and what we bring to the city,” says Horak. “We will not give up.”

Horak’s courageous attitude exemplifies the festival, which hashow was honoring Shakespeare through accessible and accessible productions since 1989. Promotions that please the public have for years puppet shows included, Shakespeare camps for youperformances and pay what you want. Popular recent additions to playbill include nights with picnic baskets, more thematic wine and beer tastings that run out quickly.

But in the end, it all comes down to seeing a glorious, two acts, full Shakespeare pproduction with creative staging and a talented cast, which ma featuresny new and young faces in this year’s edition 15 people set.

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the 2022 comedy is an audience favorite A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Horak. It runs on even dates between June 14th and July 10th. The odd-date host Measure to measureknown as one of Shakespeare’s problems pput it for your ambiguous tone that combines elements of tragedy and comedy.

But not leave the term ‘problem game’ scare you. DIrishto Nancy McAlear, who adapted Measure by Measure per it is Free will touremphasizes his “beautiful and dense poetic text.

“What attracted me is how he combines a bizarre mix of Shakespearean classics comedy features that are confronted with really dark and dramatic themes,” says McAlear, who was born in Montreal, who was a longtime Edmontonian before moving to Toronto a few years ago.

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Aimed at an adult audience, measure for Measure see tricks meinvolving switched bedmates and mismatched heads to define against a backdrop lust and, yes, nuns. OThere is also a dowry lost at sea. it’s pretty a lot your classic ShakespeareNonetheless McAlearGenericName promises a surprising feminist rework of Final.

On the other hand, Horatio he sayswill be “inclining to mirth and ridicule” of ONE A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“I want it to be funny, silly, goofy and approachable,” he says.

He’s also taking a different approach to fairies., what are played as dark and nervous in some productions, and completely crazy in others.

“The fairies in this production are the most ordinary, normal people and come (onstage) from the audience,” says Horak. “I don’t want to be too sentimental, but magic really is the audience for us.. They turn things around and change things and make it all happen.”

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Freewill Shakespeare Festival presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure

When: June 14th to July 10th; Tuesdayand until Sunday at 20:00matinees about weekends and tuesdays

Where: Hawrelak Park Heritage Amphitheater

Tickets: starting at $5 and available online at freewillshakespeare. with or on-site 90 minutes before the presentations

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