Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival 2009 Season

For those of you in the region:


The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has announced its 2009 Eco-Comic Stimulus Season. Designed to bring laughter, joy and relief from the news of the day in a spectacular outdoor setting, the Eco-Comic Stimulus Season offers something for everyone at below market prices.

The season features total mad-cap hilarity; love hiding in plain sight; battles of wit (and the sexes); shipwrecks; marriage; near death experiences; and one of the greatest reunions in all of Shakespeare. It will open with last season’s runaway hit, the impossibly funny The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), followed by the romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and the action packed adventure/romance, Pericles.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), directed by the Festival’s Founding Artistic Director Terrence O’Brien, will open the season on June 20 (previews begin June 16). Much Ado About Nothing, directed by John Christian Plummer opens June 27 and Pericles, also directed by Mr. O’Brien, will open on July 4. The three plays will run in repertory through September 6. Performances begin at 7pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8pm Friday and Saturday; and 6pm on Sundays.

“These are tumultuous times and we know that a lot of people are really struggling,” said Mr. O’Brien. “We hope that our 23rd season will provide a bright spot by giving people an opportunity to leave the news behind for a few treasured hours. I think we have everything you could ask for built into our plan: romance, adventure, comedy, a magical setting and a night out that leaves some money in the bank (or under the mattress)! We may not be able to provide tax relief, but we can certainly provide eco-comic relief!”

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has inspired and delighted audiences with its vigorously original interpretations of the great works of William Shakespeare for twenty-two seasons to much critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Poughkeepsie Journal, The Journal News and numerous other regional and national publications. Founding Artistic Director Terrence O’Brien has maintained a commitment to making the timeless plays accessible to all audiences, relieving the burden of heavy language and over-dramatization that so many equate with Shakespeare. “We want the audience to feel the same way about the plays as we do,” explained O’Brien. “The stories are timeless and we work to eliminate the affectation so often associated with Shakespeare. Our productions are lively, fast-paced and reflect our own excitement. You know it’s working,” he continued, “when you not only have people return season after season but every year they bring more new friends.”

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, the region’s only professional resident Shakespeare company, makes its home under an open-air tent theater perched high up on the banks of the Hudson River on the grounds of the historic 19th Century Boscobel estate in Garrison, New York. Using the dramatic views of the Hudson Highlands and the sweeping vistas from the elegant lawns of Boscobel as near-perfect stage scenery, the critically acclaimed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival presents unparalleled productions with the perfect marriage of theater and nature. Audience members are invited to arrive two hours early in order to enjoy a picnic meal - with one of the most spectacular al fresco views - on the grounds of the estate.

“If you’re searching for the best of all possible times … you’ll have trouble topping the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. I can’t think of another outdoor festival that has a higher overall batting average. Hudson Valley’s deliberately informal productions are a model of cultural populism at its most engaging and effective.” -The Wall Street Journal

Ticket prices for all performances are $29-$46. Tickets are available through the HVSF Box Office which opens on April 27: 845-265-9575. Tickets are also available online beginning April 17 at Discounts are available on most nights for groups, students, senior citizens and children 12 and under. The Festival offers several special packages, including a tour of the Boscobel mansion and Exhibition Gallery plus tickets. In addition discounts at local hotels and restaurants are also available. For packages and information visit the Festival website, and are available through the box office.

For more information about the 2009 Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, as well as information about their ongoing Education and Community Outreach Programs, contact the Festival at (845) 265-7858.

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