Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Attendance Soars for Kentucky Shakespeare, Can the Company Keep It Up?

Kentucky Shakespeare counted 707 in attendance on opening night of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the first of eight productions to run in Central Park this summer.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Kentucky Shakespeare's return to Central Park after an abruptly-canceled run last summer is an undeniable success. If the opening week audiences for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are any indication, the community approves of the direction new producing artistic director Matt Wallace is steering the company. This year's opening week saw a 70 percent increase over 2013, including 700 in the house for opening night and almost 900 for Saturday, June 14. 

(Update: The company is reporting a house of 1,200 for last night's performance, their largest yet.)

"I'm pretty speechless and happily overwhelmed by the success of the first week," said Wallace in an email last week. "I cannot begin to thank this community enough.  It really feels like a homecoming for many of us in the community."

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Arts and Humanities
12:01 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Kentucky Shakespeare Makes Triumphant Return to Central Park Stage

Tony Milder as Puck in Kentucky Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Credit Matthew Chappell / Kentucky Shakespeare

Last summer, things weren’t looking so hot for the oldest free outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country. Kentucky Shakespeare’s summer season in Central Park had dwindled to a single professional production, which then closed early due to managerial issues that culminated in the artistic director’s resignation in July. But when former artistic associate Matt Wallace, then head of Shakespeare Behind Bars, came back to the company as the new artistic director, he promised he’d turn things around and make the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival better than ever, all on a smaller budget than his predecessor’s.

Wallace planned three high-quality professional productions running in repertory for the price of one, along with a high school conservatory show and four community partner productions (for a total of 56 performances, running through mid-August) by employing local talent and resources and good old-fashioned community partnership. Here’s more on the full schedule.

If last night’s opening of the festival is an indication of the full season to come, Wallace has delivered on his promise.  

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Arts and Humanities
1:37 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Savage Rose Closes a Solid Season of Storms With 'The Tempest'

Brian Hinds as Prospero and Neill Robertson as Ariel in Savage Rose Classical Theatre's "The Tempest."
Credit Savage Rose Classical Theatre

Savage Rose Classical Theatre closes its fifth season this week — what it's been calling its "Season of Storms," a tribute to Shakespeare — with "The Tempest," the shipwrecked quasi-comedy considered to be Shakespeare's solo swan song. Directed by Kelly Moore in her company directorial debut, this production is a solid rendering of Shakespeare's cautionary and often-funny tale about the perils of malignant ambition and the power of forgiveness. 

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Arts and Humanities
8:15 am
Sat December 14, 2013

REVIEW | Savage Rose's 'Twelfth Night' Unleashes the Lord of Misrule

Julane Havens as Viola/Cesario in Savage Rose Classical Theatre's "Twelfth Night."
Credit Savage Rose Classical Theatre

One of the beautiful things about Shakespeare's plays is how infinitely adjustable they are. You can go broke building realistic castle sets and kitting everyone out in sumptuous period costumes, or you can take a bare set and add in just enough detail to suggest setting and character. Savage Rose Classical Theatre opts for the latter treatment in their new production of "Twelfth Night," the cross-dressing rom/com about the misadventures of a shipwrecked set of fatherless twins. 

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Arts and Humanities
5:24 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Sonnets, Scenes, Soliloquies: Actors To Stage Free Outdoor Shakespeare

 A group of local actors are mounting an afternoon of free Shakespeare in Memorial Park this weekend. The  event, "Sonnets, Scenes, and Soliloquies," will present the actors' favorite scenes and speeches from Shakespeare's work in Memorial Park  (971 S. 4th St.), on August 4, 2-3 p.m. A reception at Vault 1031 (1031 S. 6th St.) performance space will follow. 

Brian Hinds is one of the event's organizers. Hinds was an actor living in New York when he first traveled to Louisville to work a summer season with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. He says he "had been floundering" in New York, but fell in love with Louisville and its theater community after a summer performing under the stars in Central Park.

"What I remember most fondly about my years at Kentucky Shakespeare were the families sitting in the front rows," says Hinds. "Kids who were wandering through the park would stop and watch. I have such a clear memory of the faces of a group of boys smiling and listening during a production of 'Pericles.'"

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Arts and Humanities
3:04 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Opens Celtic-themed 'Twelfth Night'

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival opens its 54th free Shakespeare in Central Park season this week with a Celtic-themed production of “Twelfth Night.” Directed by producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway, the romantic comedy features the adventures of  heroine Viola, who disguises herself as a man (Cesario) when she’s rescued from a shipwreck and separated from her twin brother. She goes to work for a Duke, who asks her to intervene on his behalf with his romantic interest, who falls for Viola in disguise instead.

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Arts and Humanities
2:40 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Made Glorious Summer: Shakespeare Behind Bars' 'Richard III' Open to Public in June

Shakespeare Behind Bars 2009 production of Macbeth at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Ky.

Louisville's Shakespeare Behind Bars is in its 18th season producing the works of Shakespeare with a company of incarcerated men. In June, they’ll open “Richard III,” the Bard's dramatization of the rise and fall of Richard, the Machiavellian Duke of Gloucester, and England's House of York, at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange.

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Arts and Humanities
3:42 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Scottish Play Haunts Amphitheater's Parkside Studio

Jenni Cochran and J. Barrett Cooper as Lady and Lord Macbeth.

Just in time for Halloween, Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company opens a production of the eerie Shakespeare tragedy "Macbeth." The bloody tale of renegade power, murder and madness opens Thursday at Iroquois Amphitheater's Parkside Studio

Metro Parks transforms the amphitheater stage into Parkside Studio by closing off the large stage's usually invisible fourth wall, creating an intimate, indoor stage (for days so foul and fair alike). 

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Arts and Humanities
6:00 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Female Cast Brings Shakespeare Into New Light

Hero (Jenna Purdy) and Ursula (Lauren Argo) and plot to persuade Beatrice (Shannon Woolley Allison) that Benedick is in love with her.
Looking for Lilith

Looking for Lilith Theatre Company opens an all-female production of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” this week, setting the merry war-between-the-sexes romantic comedy in the days following the end of World War I.

The production opens Thursday and runs through October 13 in the new downstairs mainstage space at the Alley Theater in Butchertown’s The Pointe (1205 E. Washington St.).

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Arts and Humanities
6:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Review: Stylish Shakespeare Starts Actors Season Off Right

Elvy Yost as Juliet and Grantham Coleman as Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet" at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Alan Simons Actors Theatre of Louisville

The new season at Actors Theatre of Louisville is off to a rousing start with an energized and stylish contemporary production of William Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet.” The season opener is both a homecoming for the director, Louisville native Tony Speciale, and a bright sign of things to come for the theater with new artistic director Les Waters at the helm.

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