Three weeks ago Bev and I went to see The Tempest at one of our local parks. Shakespeare in the Park is a local production, and it stars talent from the surrounding areas. Two of Shakespeare’s works are presented each summer, and admission is free.
Attendees bring their lawn chairs and drinks and sit out under the trees as they watch live theatre. Sets are very portable and creative. Costumes are donated for the productions. Shakespeare is a project from people who love the arts, particularly Shakespearean theatre.
I like Shakespeare in the Park because it feels like quintessential community. Bev said to me, “Move down a little; this couple wants to sit next to us.” An old couple were trying to find a spot to land, and we were happy they chose that spot. After the performance they had opened up their food and were eating their dinner of sandwiches.
After the performance was over, groups of people milled around from group to group. Saying “Hello” as if they had not seen each other for years. Heike, the director of Shakespeare in the Park, presides over the milling crowd like a proud mother. She has a right to feel pride; it is a good event.
The Tempest was the second and last play for the 2007 season. Now we have to wait until 2008 to again sit in Applegate Park to watch our friends bring Shakespeare to life.