Shakespeare aficionados and neophytes alike can relax among the lush vegetation and sound of crickets at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods, on Aug. 1, 2 and 3, when Citadel Theatre performs "A Midsummer Night's Dream" outdoors.
"The hourlong performance is perfect for those who already know and love Shakespeare, as well as those who want to enjoy theater in a beautiful setting," said Heather Meyers, the show's production manager. "It's a great introduction to Shakespeare, and we're making it accessible to a modern audience."
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All the audience needs is a blanket or lawn chair, and a picnic if they like, as they watch a fully costumed production of Shakespeare's bewitching tale of fairies, enchanted forests, and of course, lost lovers.
"The show has a little bit of everything: comedy, love and romance, mistaken identity, chase scenes, the magic of the fairies. It will be fun to watch," Meyers said.
Sophie Twichell, executive director of Brushwood Center, said she encourages families to attend.
"Because it's only an hour long, and because of all the fun characters in the play, it is a wonderful introduction to magic of theater," Twichell said. "Attendees will revel in the outdoor experience, which ends just before sunset."
Brushwood Center, along with the Lake County Forest Preserves, is partnering with Citadel Theatre (based in Lake Forest) for the first time to present outdoor theater at Ryerson Woods.
"This is our first outdoor Shakespeare theater ever, and we're happy to be doing it at Ryerson Woods," Meyers said. Meyers said the actors are being directed by one of the best -- Frank Farrell, a Chicago director and actor.
"Bringing Shakespeare to Brushwood Center furthers our mission of nurturing art, nature and discovery," Twichell said. "We are thrilled to be partnering with a theater company based right here in Lake County."
Tickets, which cost $15 ($10 for Brushwood members), are available for three shows beginning at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 1, 2 and 3. Preregistration is recommended. Registration deadline is July 31. In the case of inclement weather, the production will be held indoors, with limited seating available.
For more information and to obtain tickets, call (847) 968-3321 or visit www.brushwoodcenter.org. Brushwood Center is at 21850 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods.