Kentucky Shakespeare Plans Central Park Stage Restoration

Kentucky Shakespeare artistic director Matt Wallace says in the past, the company would spend the first couple of weeks of their season in Central Park repairing the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre to get the stage in shape for the summer productions. This year, he says he’d rather not put off needed repairs until after the winter, so the company has launched a Power2Give crowdfunding appeal to raise funds needed to restore the 20-year-old stage.

“Particularly over the last few years, it has been neglected and we need to replace the stage floor and stabilize the structure,” says Wallace. “I don’t want to take summer season time to do this and want us to begin our season with a solid structure.”

Scenic designer (and Governor’s Award in the Arts honoree) Paul Owen, who also served as resident scenic designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville for 38 years, designed the current stage in 1993 on the site of the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre, which was named by Mayor Harvey Sloane in 1976.

Wallace consulted with Owen on repairs, and plans to get to work once the project is funded. Louisville Metro is contributing matching funds, so the project, which will cost $7,079, only has to raise about $3,500 from individual gifts.

Wallace says he’ll soon announce details of an expanded 2014 summer season and some additional public programming Kentucky Shakespeare is planning, but in the meantime, the company is presenting the third annual Saturday in the Park this weekend. NOTE: Saturday in the Park has been postponed due to rain. The new celebration date is next Saturday, October 26. 

The all-day event (10 a.m. – 11 p.m.) will celebrate the arts and the outdoors with food trucks, a tree climbing competition, interactive theatre experiences for kids, tennis lessons and performances by groups like Highland Chamber Players, Steve Cooley and Hog Operation, Squallis Puppeteers, Walden Theatre and Rannygazoo Ukulele Duet. The evening will cap off with outdoor screenings of the films “Hotel Transylvania” (7 p.m.) and “Young Frankenstein” (8:30 p.m.).

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