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May 10, 2012

See ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ free at Paris park

PARIS, Ill. — Discover Shakespeare’s comedic spectacle, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as the group Stone Soup Shakespeare presents its magical and free production at 6 p.m. CDT on May 26 in Twin Lakes Park at Paris, Ill.

Set against the backdrop of a coal mining town, the production will combine skilled Shakespearian acting with elements of magic and live music to create an enchanting telling of this Shakespeare classic.

Executive director of Stone Soup Shakespeare and the show’s director, Jeffrey Golde, will create a production that includes eight actors playing 19 characters.

“This is the definition of an ensemble production,” Golde said. “Actors rely on each other to tell the story as they quickly morph from one character to another. The audience is an essential piece of the ensemble too. They must give the actors permission to transform the world around them.”

“When a production allows and encourages the audience to participate in telling the story of the play, the entire experience benefits from a special kind of energy that you can only find at a live performance,” said Julia Stemper, artistic director for Stone Soup Shakespeare.

“As a general rule we try to include the audience in our productions and make them an essential part of the story. Throughout the show we will encourage the audience to even participate in the action. As an outdoor production, the play isn’t just on a single stage, but it is the entire world around us,” Stemper said.

Keeping in the spirit of the story of Stone Soup, cans of soup will be accepted for the Compassionate Food Ministry. Audience members are welcome to bring their own picnics.

This program is partially supported by the Carbondale Community Arts Southern Arts Fund and by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The Paris event is presented by Paris Public Library, the Paris Park Board and Friends of the Paris Library.

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    March 12, 2010

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