Valley Shakespeare Fest celebrates Halloween

A Halloween fundraiser for the Valley Shakespeare Festival was called a success by its organizers.

Held at the Twisted Vine restaurant in Derby on Oct. 24, nearly 60 party-goers came to the Halloween-themed dinner. They arrived in all manner and form of costumes from insects to pixies, spies, superheroes, cartoon characters, historical figures, vampires and witches.

Members of the cast who performed in the company’s summer production of The Comedy of Errors took the stage following the dinner provided by Twisted Vine.

Performers: From witches to Hamlet

Kristen Kingsley of Shelton, Amy Strachan of Monroe and Sarah Ann Masse of Trumbull, playing the three witches, opened with a reading of Act I, Scene I of MacBeth.

They were joined by the remaining cast members, Shelton native Tom Simonetti, Nick Afka Thomas of Trumbull, and New Yorkers Adam Kezele and Jessica Breda, for a rendition of “Magic To Do” from the Tony award-winning musical Pippin.

Next, Nick and Adam read Act III, Scene III of Hamlet in which Hamlet comes upon his uncle, the king, in prayer confessing the murder of Hamlet’s father.

Jessica was up next, and lightened the mood with a reading of the tongue-twister “Jabberwocky” from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

Kristen, Jessica and Sarah then returned with a performance of act V scene I of MacBeth in which Lady MacBeth is observed sleepwalking while uttering the famous line “Out damned spot.” It featured Sarah as the tormented Lady MacBeth, Kristen as the doctor and Jessica as the gentlewoman.

Shifting gears again, Tom and Amy came on with a performance of the satirical number “A Little Priest” from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Nick then concluded the evening’s entertainment with a  reading of Prospero’s Epilogue of The Tempest.

And the winner was...

The cast took a moment to confer about to whom to award the grand prize of the costume contest, two tickets to a performance of Westport Country Playhouse’s 2014 Season.

Margaret Watkins was chosen for her original and inventive wardrobe creation, “Steampunk Rock Girl,” a style of clothing, and an artistic style as well, of the late 1980’s inspired by works by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and the industrialization of Western Civilization on culture during the 19th Century.

The cast members then drew tickets for the remaining prizes, three $100 gift packages to Valley eating establishments, and awarded them to three more guests.

Support local performers

Folks who wish to continue to enjoy and support free theater in the Valley are encouraged to return to the Twisted Vine, 285 Main St. in Derby, during the months of November and December when 10% of all food and beverage costs incurred by diners who mention Valley Shakespeare Festival will be donated back to the theatrical company by the restaurant.

For more information about the restaurant, visit or call 203-734-2462.