Will is coming to town: Shelton outdoor play continues through Saturday

The weather is looking perfect for the next two Shakespeare in the park shows in downtown Shelton.

Kaitlin Kelley of Shelton is one of the many behind-the-scenes volunteers who will assist in the Valley Shakespeare Festival (VSF) production. Here, she stands with a life-size cut-out of William Shakespeare and a raffle prize at a recent VSF fund-raiser.

Kaitlin Kelley of Shelton is one of the many behind-the-scenes volunteers assisting in the Valley Shakespeare Festival (VSF) production. Here, she stands with a life-size cut-out of William Shakespeare and a raffle prize at a recent VSF fund-raiser.

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

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.

 

Spying, lying and dying

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).

Cast members Megan Emery Gaffney and Colin Ryan from “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Cast members Megan Emery Gaffney and Colin Ryan from “Much Ado About Nothing.”

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.

Among those at a recent event to support the Valley Shakespeare Festival are, from left, Rosemarie Smolinski of Derby, Gloria Badamo of Ansonia, and Mary Pagairo of Derby.

Among those at a recent event to support the Valley Shakespeare Festival are, from left, Rosemarie Smolinski of Derby, Gloria Badamo of Ansonia, and Mary Pagairo of Derby.

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 cast members

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

— Joanna Bair as Ursula

— Kristen Kingsley as Verges

— Gwendolyn Niles as the Messenger

— Jessica Schladeback as Margaret

Tom Simonetti, Valley Shakespeare Festival executive and artistic director, with John Dantona of Seymour at a fund-raising event for the local nonprofit theatrical troupe. Simonetti, a Shelton native, also is an actor who appears in the new production.

Tom Simonetti, Valley Shakespeare Festival executive and artistic director, with John Dantona of Seymour at a fund-raising event for the local nonprofit theatrical troupe. Simonetti, a Shelton native, also is an actor who appears in the new production.

— 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

Shelton-Shakespeare4The nonprofit Valley Shakespeare Festival works to bring free Shakespeare to the communities of the lower Naugatuck Valley.

It puts on 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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