Festival announces its 2015 season of Shakespeare shows

Valley Shakespeare Festival, the Lower Naugatuck Valley’s nonprofit free Shakespeare theater company, is opening its third season this Valentine’s Day.

On Saturday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m. at Derby Neck Library. 307 Hawthorne Ave., seven actors will perform a scripted reading of Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare’s tragic tale of young love has been adapted by the VSF. The play will feature minimal staging, with a script-in-hand reading and will last about 90 minutes. The performance free, with a suggested donation of $10.

'Hamlet' on March 12

The season continues Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m., with the third offering in VSF’s Shakespeare in the Bar series, Hamlet: The Bad Quarto. This version of the “melancholy Dane” is widely accepted as being the first draft of the Bard’s tragedy and will be presented in 90 minutes as adapted by VSF’s executive and artistic director, Tom Simonetti.

As in the past, this script-in-hand adaptation will be performed in the upper-level bar area of Porky’s Café, 50 Center St., Shelton. Tickets are $10 per person in advance, or $15 per person at the door.

Educational program in schools

VSF is piloting an education initiative program this year to the fourth graders of the Shelton school district this May.

It will be conducting workshops on Shakespeare’s works and presenting performances of As You Like It to students and faculty during school hours in a format consistent with Common Core state standards.

Outdoor summer show July 9-12

This year the company will sponsor four free performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Shelton’s Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday through Sunday, July 9-12, at 8 p.m.

Information and reservations at www.vsfestival.org or 203-513-9446.