The return of the summer heat is also accompanied by the return of summer programming and the annual Shakespeare in the Park production at the Market House Theater.
This year, the amateur theater will stage a performance of âThe Tempestâ by the Bard – a comedy about a major act of betrayal, abuse, the development of the magical arts and a plot of revenge – in the Noble Park Amphitheater on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These shows, which all start at 6 p.m., will be free and will include live music in addition to the play.
Production manager Ashlee Brotherton is thrilled that the program will return after COVID-19 scuttled the theater’s hopes last summer.
âI think there is something about the timelessness of these pieces that allows everyone across time and space to connect with these messages and these stories,â she told The Sun . âHaving a program for Shakespeare in the Park in Paducah, which is a small enough town to have a program like this, is a huge asset to our cultural scene.â
The reason programs like these persist, Brotherton added, is how infinitely interrelated Shakespeare’s writings are.
âObviously, Shakespeare has been an integral part of the theater since the 1590s. His plays have been performed all over the world and I think the reason is that they still have a current theme today,â a- she declared. âOne thing that I talk about a lot with my actors is that the people when these plays were written were no different than they are today. They might have had different circumstances and jargon to express their feelings, but basically they experienced emotions and life as we do today.
The cast includes a mix of old and new MHT faces including Zoey Brinker, Caleb Buford, Reid Draper, Taylor Edwards, Addie Beth Franklin, Jacob Harris, Roy Hensel, Grainger Page, HG Page, Steven Page, Jaden Raney, Denise Romanak, Eric Romanak, Mason Romanak, Natalie Shadrick, Amarie Smith, Alayna Watkins and Audrey Paige Wilson. Davin Belt will work with Brotherton as assistant director and Maya Romanak will be musical director. Romanak will also play music alongside Spencer Glunt, Liberty Guyette and Aneeza Ali.
âThis is a cast that brings together seasoned veterans and people entirely new to the theater – not to mention Shakespeare,â Brotherton said. “They came to this production with such vigor, excitement and determination that I think the product they created is truly something special to watch.”
A live music program will entertain the audience before the start of the play. Music will also be integrated throughout the show and during the intermission.
The main entrance to the park will be blocked and guests are advised to enter through the gate near the baseball fields on Park Avenue. Brotherton recommends bringing a chair or blanket to relax on during production. A food truck will be present for refreshments, although guests are also allowed to bring their own food and drinks.
Programs like this, Brotherton said, are âwhat makes Paducah great. There’s really something special going on in Paducah and I think Shakespeare in the Park is one of them.
âI think it’s a great way for families and individuals to come and experience an arts event with the beautiful Bob Noble Park backdrop here in the summer, especially now that we’ve been locked up for so long,â said Brotherton. “This is a great time to go out and see friends in an always safe way and see some awesome theater.”