Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

May 24, 2013

Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre launches 10th year

FRANKFORT — No poison or daggers allowed and swords must be checked at the door.

The Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre launches its 10th Anniversary season Saturday with a "gala" fundraiser at the Oliver Art Center. Proceeds will help support this year’s productions of "Romeo and Juliet” and “A Comedy of Errors,” July 23-August 2 at the Tank Hill outdoor theater, as well as art education classes and theater workshops at the center.

The “Evening in Verona” starts at 7 p.m. and will transform Oliver Art Center into The House of Capulet, said Amy Moehle, the company's volunteer community development director. All Capulets (friends of Juliet’s family) are welcome. Montagues (Romeo’s family) will wear masks made in a May 15 Oliver Center workshop, she said.

Ensemble members will perform scenes from past and present productions, minstrels will wander, and local foodie appetizers and sweets prepared with ingredients from local farms will be served with wine poured by the Traverse City Wine and Arts Festival, Moehle said. The event also will feature silent and live auctions for items including a walk-on role during this year’s season.

Elizabeth Laidlaw of Chicago, a fourth-generation summer resident who has never missed the season in Frankfort, created the Lakeside company in 2003 to bring free outdoor performances of Shakespeare plays to Benzie County. The company includes an ensemble of more than 30 Chicago area actors, actresses, directors and crew who come to Frankfort each summer to perform two of the Bard’s plays for two weeks in late July and early August.

"The grand plan from the beginning has been to keep building it and expanding into a real summer repertory festival," Laidlaw said. "We got slowed down when the economy took a tremendous crash, but now we have more infrastructure in place and we're trying to bounce back with it and grow."

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