Festival!, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" continue through Aug. 4

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opened its dress rehearsal Tuesday evening and revealed what show-goers will experience during the run at the Shakespeare Theatre park evenings through Sunday Aug. 4 — a well-amplified sound, stage lighting that blends with nature’s twilight, professional actors and director, the lawn, the river views, and the great language, poetry and humor of the play itself. The opening scene here features Matt Catalano as Egeus, Lila Smith as Hippolyta, Caitlin Chuckta as Hermia, Mark Friedlander as Lysander, Andrew Spieker as Theseus, and Brian Vaughan as Demetrius. See story on page 6.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opened its dress rehearsal Tuesday evening and revealed what show-goers will experience during the run at the Shakespeare Theatre park evenings through Sunday Aug. 4 — a well-amplified sound, stage lighting that blends with nature’s twilight, professional actors and director, the lawn, the river views, and the great language, poetry and humor of the play itself. The opening scene here features Matt Catalano as Egeus, Lila Smith as Hippolyta, Caitlin Chuckta as Hermia, Mark Friedlander as Lysander, Andrew Spieker as Theseus, and Brian Vaughan as Demetrius. See story on page 6. Greg Reilly photo.

At the mouth of the Housatonic River, with the stars shining and back-lit trees, the stage is set here for the outside performance of William Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“It’s going to be a remarkable production in one of the most beautiful locations in Fairfield County,” said Stratford Councilman Matt Catalano, who plays Egeus.

This is an annual performance at the Shakespeare Theater, 1850 Elm Street, as part of Festival! Stratford. Performances will be each evening through Aug. 4, at 8 p.m. Shows are free. Audience members are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and a picnic. Refreshments will be for sale.

There will also family activities, yoga and more before the show — throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Details are on page 4B of this paper.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to bring people together,” said Ian Eaton, of Harlem, who is Bottom in the play. “There’s something for everyone.”

Ellen Lieberman of Bridgeport directs the play. She said that Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity, true love, with a mix of potions gets people laughing.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “The community laughing together” is part of what having a performance like this is all about.

Director Ellen Lieberman of Connecticut Free Shakespeare at Midsummer’s rehearsal Tuesday.

Director Ellen Lieberman of Connecticut Free Shakespeare at Midsummer’s rehearsal Tuesday. Greg Reilly photo.

“It’s so amazing that texts that are over 450 years old is still so relevant,” Lieberman continued. “It’s just as funny now as it was then.”

For more information, visit festivalstratford.org or find the Festival on Facebook.

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