Shakespeare under the stars in W. Philadelphia

July 22, 2012 6:09:13 AM PDT
It's five nights of free Shakespeare under the stars in West Philadelphia's Clark Park.

Every July for the past 7 years, the Shakespeare in Clark Park Company has produced a week of free theatre in the park. This year, it's Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.

Merry Wives of Windsor is Shakespeare's comedic tale of the knight, Falstaff, looking for love in all the wrong places.

Marla Burkholder, Artistic Director of Shakespeare in Clark Park said, "The primary plot line is Falstaff, of course in his usual bumbling way, trying to woo 2 women of course and he chooses 2 married women."

"But he's broke. So he comes to the town and sets in motion a whole set of shenanigans by which he hopes to make a lot of money and instead he's kind of thwarted by these two very jolly and very smart women," said Rebecca Wright, Director of Merry Wives of Windsor.

Shakespeare in Clark Park was founded by actors and directors looking to fill a lull when most theatre companies go on summer hiatus. The troupe's mission is to bring the bard to a beautiful outdoor setting where it's open to everyone.

"So something that someone walking by the park could stop in and see. Someone could bring a group of school children to. Families could come...and there's something amazing about just having an evening outdoors," added Burkholder.

A typical performance draws anywhere from 500 to 1000 audience members. People come from the neighborhood but also the Main Line and New Jersey.

"You know, first of all Clark Park is a great park to come to. It's a fun outing. It's free but it's a really good show," said Burkholder.

Shows are this Wednesday through Sunday @ 7pm. For more information, go to Shakespeare in Clark Park.

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