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Shakespeare on the Square to present 23rd annual summer Shakespeare Festival

The Tennessee Stage Company is featuring the comedy “Twelfth Night” and the history play “Richard III” at its 23rd annual summer Shakespeare Festival this summer.

“Twelfth Night” opens the festival on Thursday, July 11, at Market Square. It continues through August 10, alternating performances with “Richard III, which runs July 12 to August 11.

Admission is free to the Market Square and Blount County Public Library performances. The indoor matinees at the Square Room are $10.

“If Music be the food of love, play on,” declares Shakespeare in his beloved romantic comedy “Twelfth Night.” Though the search for true love lies sweetly at the heart of the play, “Twelfth Night” is adorned with enough raucous ribaldry, outrageous intrigue, vaulted villainy and gender-bending cross-dressing to declare it one of Shakespeare’s most outrageous comedies,

“Richard III” makes its return to the Shakespeare in the Square stage the summer after the much-maligned King of England himself made a dramatic comeback, when his remains were discovered last August in a parking lot in England. Look for the skeletal Son of York to make a cameo appearance in the Shakespeare in the Park program.

“Richard III” is directed by Mark H. Creter, co-founder of the Tennessee Stage Company and professor of theater at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. “Twelfth Night” is directed by Tom Parkhill, founding artistic director of the Tennessee Stage Company.

Shakespeare on the Square productions are performed on a rough replica of the new Globe Theatre in London (a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theater. The plays are presented in the timeless style of Elizabethan theatrical presentations.

The Tennessee Stage Company encourages its audiences to spend an evening on the Square: do a little shopping, have a nice dinner, see the play and maybe stop by a pub afterward. All of this and more is available on Market Square nightly.

July 11,13,19, 21, 25, 27 Aug. 2,4,8, 10 with the indoor Square Room matinee on July 13 at 2:00 pm
7:00 pm nightly outdoors on Market Square
2:00 pm indoors at the Square Room, July 27

“If Music be the food of love, play on” – so says William Shakespeare, famously, in Twelfth Night and nowhere is that statement more true than in this brilliant and beloved comedy. Mistaken identity, evil plots, long lost siblings and the search for true love combines for one of Shakespeare’s most outrageous comedies. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.”

July 12, 14, 18, 20, 26,28, Aug. 1, 3, 9, 11 with the indoor Square Room matinee on July 20, at 2:00 pm
7:00 pm nightly outdoors on Market Square
2:00 pm indoors at the Square Room, July 20

Treachery, seduction, intrigue, murder and mayhem – just another day in the life of Richard III. Deformed from birth but blessed with a seductive charm as well as an overwhelming ambition, Richard destroys his family and friends and steals the throne of England from his brother while attempting to cover his bloody tracks with civil war. Without a doubt, Richard is Shakespeare’s greatest villain and one of his most exciting plays. “Now is the winter of our discontent.”

Published June 24, 2013

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