Back in November, when Artistic Director Matt Wallace announced the summer season for Kentucky Shakespeare, he also announced a new series: Shakespeare in the Parks.
An eight-actor, 90-minute version of their July 2014 production of “Hamlet” will tour nine Louisville parks in April and May to bring free Shakespeare to neighborhoods around Louisville.
“This is an exciting piece of the transformation of Kentucky Shakespeare. We are dedicated to bringing free, accessible, professional theatre to our community, and we are thrilled to branch out to new neighborhoods,” Wallace said in a news release. “This touring production of ‘Hamlet’ is the kick-off to our upcoming summer-long festival for the city of Louisville.”
He further added, “We thank the members of the Metro Council, the Mayor of Lyndon, and other generous individuals who have helped us put together this special event for the families of their districts.”
The production is directed by Wallace and features an ensemble cast of eight professional, Louisville-based actors. Jonathan O’Brien plays the title role, with Jon Huffman as Claudius, Abigail Bailey Maupin as Gertrude, Gregory Maupin as Polonius, Megan Massie as Ophelia, Tony Milder as Horatio, Zachary Burrell as Laertes/Rosencrantz, and Kyle Ware as Guildenstern in addition to many ensemble roles filled by the cast. The production also features costumes by Donna Lawrence Downs and live music from the actor ensemble.
The Shakespeare in the Parks series:
April 6 at 6 p.m.
Iroquois Park, 1080 Amphitheater Road
Sponsored by Councilman Rick Blackwell, District 12, Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch, District 13, Councilwoman Marianne Butler, District 15, and Councilman Dan Johnson, District 21
April 13 at 6 p.m.
Riverside Gardens Park, 3899 Lees Lane
Sponsored by Councilwoman Attica Scott, District 1
April 19 at 6 p.m.
Highview Park, 7201 Outer Loop
Sponsored by Councilman James Peden, District 23
April 26 at 6 p.m.
Tyler Park, 1501 Castlewood Ave.
Sponsored by Councilman Tom Owen, District 8
April 27 at 6 p.m.
Petersburg Park, 5008 E. Indian Trail
Sponsored by Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, District 2
May 4 at 6 p.m.
Emerson Park, Hickory and Sylvia Streets
Sponsored by Council President Jim King, District 10
May 10 at 12 p.m.
Shawnee Park, 4501 West Broadway
Sponsored by Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, District 5
May 17 at 6 p.m.
Story Avenue Park, 1519 Story Ave.
Sponsored by Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, District 9
Councilman David Tandy, District 4
White Clay Consulting
May 18 at 6 p.m.
Robinson Park, Lyndon, Ky.
Sponsored by Mayor Susan Barto, City of Lyndon
Kentucky Shakespeare’s season in Central Park will run June 11-Aug. 17.