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Playhouse Theatre Group Launches the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival

West Hartford-based Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. has announced the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival beginning July 7.

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Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. is thrilled to launch the inaugural season of the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival at Auerfarm in Bloomfield, CT, which will run from July 7-Aug. 22, 2021.

The inaugural season theme is “Shakespeare and Sondheim.” The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival will transport audiences into fantastical worlds of the unknown! After a year of isolation, come escape from your lives as you connect to the wonder and mysteries of Shakespeare, Sondheim, and fairytale.

Tickets are now on sale! The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival will consist of two Main Stage productions (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Into the Woods”) and two Theatre for Young Audiences productions (“Shakespeare 4 Kids: Dream Scheme” and “Snow White”). The Main Stage productions will be preceded by the Green Show (pre-show entertainment).

THE GREEN SHOW: Free summer entertainment on the Green! Before watching “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Into the Woods,” audiences are encouraged to prepare by immersing themselves in the Green Show with music, dance, comedy, and Shakespeare scenes that break down their “Shakesfear” (the fear and sometimes utter terror of not being able to understand the language and characters of Shakespeare). Doors for the festival will open two hours prior to the Main Stage productions, and the Green Show will begin one hour before curtain. Relax on the grass as you are entertained by our very talented intern company and local guest artists.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare: Magic blows into town as a Duke and a Duchess prepare for their wedding day, some amateur actors rehearse a play for the party, and four young lovers run into the woods – where a kingdom of fairies emerges to enchant, transform, and entangle us in their dreams. Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – one of the most enduringly popular plays of all time – is a wild and whimsical celebration of love, nature, and the magic of theatre itself. Directed by Emma Rosa Went. Running July 7-17.

INTO THE WOODS: “Anything can happen in the woods.” This is the promise, and premise, of the much-loved funny and poignant Tony-Award winning epic fairytale about wishes, family, and the choices we make. INTO THE WOODS take us into a magical and bewildering world, full of witches, wolves, giants, and mysterious strangers. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods where they encounter Rapunzel and her mother, Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Little Red Riding Hood and other classic fairy tale characters. Their stories become entangled in unexpected ways – revealing what happens after “happily ever after.” Wishes come true here, but at a price. Music by Stephen Sondheim, and book by James Lapine. Directed by Sean Harris, with musical direction by Melanie Guerin and choreography by Darlene Zoller. Running July 28-Aug. 22.

SHAKESPEARE 4 KIDS: DREAM SCHEME by Erin Sheffield: Actively Experience Shakespeare! A high-octane production complete with song, tons of comedy, and sock puppets! This fun and interactive event provides an opportunity to introduce children to Shakespeare’s rich language and zany characters in a welcoming, kid-friendly atmosphere. S4K activates imaginations and generates laughs for the whole family! Adapted from the Works of William Shakespeare. Directed by Moira O’Sullivan. Running July 10-18.

SNOW WHITE by Greg Banks: This adaptation is a fresh look at the timeless classic that features a beautiful princess, her evil queen, a huntsman, one magic mirror, and the legendary seven dwarfs – all brought to life by TWO ACTORS! A fairytale world is made before your very eyes with inspiring creativity and dynamic theatricality. Directed by Moira O’Sullivan. Running July 31-Aug. 22.

Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. and Auerfarm began their collaboration in summer of 2020 out of necessity. Auerfarm, nestled on 120 gorgeous acres in Bloomfield, CT, became an exciting venue for Playhouse’s theatre events after COVID-19 forced the theatre’s doors to close. As the organizations got to know one another, a core value between them became apparent: a desire to educate and engage audiences and visitors in the world around them.

The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival is a subsidiary of Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. (Playhouse on Park, Playhouse Theatre Academy, stop/time dance theater).

To purchase tickets, visit www.ConnecticutShakespeareFestival.com, call 860-523-5900 x10, or come to the Box Office at 244 Park Rd. West Hartford, CT 06119. The festival itself will take place at Auerfarm in Bloomfield: 158 Auer Farm Rd. Bloomfield, CT 06002.

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