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updated: 8/7/2013 11:22 AM

Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College Arena Theater Present Shakespeare in the Park August 23 & 24

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LaTonya Taylor

The Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College's Arena Theater announce an evening of Shakespeare in the Park. Arena Theater will perform William Shakespeare's light-hearted "As You Like It" Friday and Saturday, August 23 and 24 at 7 pm in Memorial Park. Admission is free; the park opens at 6pm for seating and concessions.

"A few years ago I started batting around the idea of doing a show in Memorial Park to bring theater out into the community, and the Shakespeare in the Park model was at the forefront of my mind," says Andy Mangin, technical director of Arena Theater. Mike Bernard, Executive Director of the Wheaton Park District, enthusiastically got behind the idea, offering the beautiful, historic Memorial Park as the venue.

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Arena Theater's performance of "As You Like It" will feature Wheaton College alumni, many of whom have acted professionally, as well as current Wheaton students, forming a unique and diverse company able to embody the various ages and personalities represented in the play. Wheaton College theater professor Mark Lewis will direct.

Mangin says the challenges of doing theater al fresco--lighting, sound, the elements--are all worth it to experience the magic of outdoor theater: "Shakespeare was intended for the masses, to be accessible, but sometimes his work gets locked in closed rooms. We're excited to bring it out into the community to reinvestigate it. Plus, this play takes place in the Forest of Arden. It's a lot easier to imagine a forest when you turn around and there's an actual tree behind you!"

The DuPage County Historical Museum will be selling light concession fare, soda, and water as a fundraiser for the museum.

Wheaton's Memorial Park is located at 208 West Union Avenue, bound by Wheaton Avenue, Union Avenue, Hale Street, and Seminary Avenue. To learn more about Shakespeare in the Park and other events, visit the Wheaton Park District website at wheatonparkdistrict.com. To learn more about Wheaton Arena Theater, visit wheaton.edu/Arena-Theater

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