Shelton resident readies for role in outdoor Shakespeare play


Kristen Kingsley of Shelton will perform in Valley Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming free, outdoor production.


Kristen Kingsley of Shelton grew up being involved in theater, especially with a troupe in Oxford.

“I’ve always loved acting but I hadn’t done it for awhile, so I got excited when I saw the notice for auditions,” she said.

Kingsley will have a chance to return to the stage when she performs at the first-ever Valley Shakespeare Festival (VSF) in “The Comedy of Errors” from July 18-20 in Shelton’s Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk). The outdoor performances at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are free to the public.

“Acting is a way for me to become someone else,” said Kingsley, 20, who attends Housatonic Community College.

Kingsley is optimistic people will want to come see the VSF’s somewhat-modernized version of the Shakespeare play.

“It’s a chance for people to have a new experience,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed going to see Shakespeare-in-the-park productions myself, and they are always entertaining.”


‘A vaudeville twist’ to play

The VSF version of William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” will be set in the 1920s “with an Americana/vaudeville twist,” said Tom Simonetti, a Shelton native who is VSF artistic and executive director.


Valley Shakespeare Festival cast members performing in “The Comedy of Errors” include, from left, Adam Kezele of New York City, Steve Mazzoccone of New York City, Megan McGarvey of New York City, Jeremy Funke of New Haven (in back), Amy Strachan of Monroe (in front), Jess Breda of New York City (her family recently moved to Shelton), Kristen Kingsley of Shelton, and Tom Simonetti of New York City, who grew up in Shelton.

More than two dozen people are involved in the production, including cast, crew and other volunteers.

Audience members are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics to watch the play on the lawn at the riverfront park on Canal Street.

Learn more about the Valley Shakespeare Festival at



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