Richmond Shakepeare Festival productions underway

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Jakob D. Winter as Ferdinand and Jenna Van Weelden as Miranda in the Richmond Shakespeare Festival 2019 production of “The Tempest.” Supplied photo by Patrick Flick

The Richmond Shakespeare Festival offers a professional theater experience in the cradle of recorded jazz near downtown Richmond.
For this summer’s season, the Richmond Shakespeare Festival presents “The Tempest” and “Hamlet” in rotating repertory on weekends through July 6 in the Whitewater Gorge Park.
Performing in a covered outdoor venue, the Starr-Gennett Pavilion at 201 S. First St., this year’s festival is part of a growing trend of new Shakespeare Festivals popping up all over the country.
The acting company is comprised of a mix of union and non-union professionals, college-age interns (including students from Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and Ball State University to name just two), and volunteers sourced from as far away as New York, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and points in between. Directors, designers and crew come from here in Indiana to all the way from Chicago, Florida and beyond.
It’s all a part of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Flick’s plan to bring the best talent possible to the heartland.
“We want this to be a destination theatre,” Flick said in a news release, “and the best way to do that is to develop a reputation for nothing but the finest quality in our productions – from the acting, to the directing, to the costumes, to the scenery, the lighting, and best of all, our unique Elizabethan Stage – you’ll find nothing but the best Shakespeare the world has to offer right here in Indiana.”
The festival, now in its sixth season, is a member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association and operates under an agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
Tickets are available online at www.richmondshakes.org, by calling (765) 373-9022, or at the door.

Show schedule
• 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, “Hamlet”
• 8 p.m. Friday, June 28, “The Tempest”
• 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, “Hamlet”
• 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, “The Tempest”
• 2 p.m. Sunday June 30, “Hamlet”
• 8 p.m. Friday, July 5, “Hamlet”
• 2 p.m. Saturday, July 6, “The Tempest”
• 8 p.m. July 6, “Hamlet”

Show summaries
• “The Tempest”: The deposed Duke of Milan has been abandoned to a desert island with her only daughter. She shares the island with two magic creatures, Caliban the son of the witch Sycorax, and Ariel, an airy spirit. As luck would have it, he usurping brother’s ship draws near the island, and Propsera lures him into her trap of revenge, retaliation and possibly redemption. A magical romp through an enchanged isle that includes a wedding, drunken clowns and magical spirits.
• “Hamlet”: Prince Hamlet suspects foul play in the death of his father when he returns to his kingdom to find hi mother married to his father’s brother not long after his father’s death. He sets a trap to catch King Claudius in is misdeeds, but Claudius is cautious. In the meantime, in a rage, Hamlet mistakenly murders his girlfriend’s father and the two young lovers both descend into madness. A classic tale of love, murder, madness and revenge.