Outdoor Shakespeare play opens Thursday night at Shelton park

Valley Shakespeare Festival (VSF) will present an outdoor production of “Much Ado About Nothing” in Shelton from Thursday to Saturday, July 10 to 12.

The cast of Valley Shakespeare Festival’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Riverwalk in Shelton, where the play will be performed on an outdoor stage.

The cast of Valley Shakespeare Festival’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Riverwalk in Shelton, where the play will be performed on an outdoor stage.

Performances of William Shakespeare’s comedy will take place at 8 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk) on Canal Street. The park opens for picnicking at 6:30.

Admission is free, with a suggested $10 donation.

Attend an evening of spying, lying and “fake” dying involving Beatrice and Benedick, who can’t stand each other, and Claudio and Hero, who love each other (until an enemy breaks them apart).

 

Broadway actor to play role

Colin Ryan (who has appeared in “Waiting for Godot” and “No Man’s Land” on Broadway) and Megan Emery Gaffney (Yale Rep, Hangar Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre) will play the roles of Beatrice and Benedick, the sharp-tongued couple trapped in a true love-hate relationship.

VSF veterans Jess Breda (“Comedy of Errors” and “Macbeth”) and Travis Czap (“Macbeth”) will portray Hero and Claudio, the idealistic young lovers.

From left, “Much Ado About Nothing” cast members Megan Emery Gaffney, Colin Ryan and Tom Simonetti attend a “Meet and Greet” fund-raising event for Valley Shakespeare Festival on July 2 at the Twisted Vine in Derby. Simonetti, a Shelton native, also is the festival’s executive and artistic director.

From left, “Much Ado About Nothing” cast members Megan Emery Gaffney, Colin Ryan and Tom Simonetti attend a “Meet and Greet” fund-raising event for Valley Shakespeare Festival on July 2 at the Twisted Vine in Derby. Simonetti, a Shelton native, also is the festival’s executive and artistic director.

The roles of the Prince, Don Pedro, and his bitter younger brother, Don John, will be taken on by Michael Eck (Hartford Stage) and Adam Kezele (VSF’s “The Comedy of Errors” and “Macbeth”).

Tyler Huntley and Gil Newman will play Don John’s henchmen, Borrachio and Conrade.

 

Other members of the cast

Also in the cast, listed by alphabetical order, are:

Shelton-Shakespeare4— Joanna Bair as Ursula

— Kristen Kingsley as Verges

— Gwendolyn Niles as the Messenger

— Jessica Schladeback as Margaret

— Tom Simonetti (VSF executive and artistic director) as Dogberry, the Master of Malapropisms

— Amy Strachan as a member of his Watch

— John R. Trevisan (Hartford Stage) as Hero’s father, Leonato

 

Bringing Shakespeare to the Valley

The nonprofit Valley Shakespeare Festival works to bring free Shakespeare to the communities of the lower Naugatuck Valley.

It sponsors an outdoor play each summer as well as other events throughout the year. The Valley Community Foundation is a major sponsor. Learn more at www.vsfestival.org or 203-513-9446.

 

 

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