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 Tuesday, May 22, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


On the Shakespeare Festival's 50th anniversary, it's better than ever
By Linda Besen, Publications and Creative Services

The charm of the Boulder campus in the summer owes much to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and this year promises to be outstanding—with a 50th anniversary celebration, a new artistic director, and a spate of improvements to the theatre-going experience.

For the first time, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) is producing five plays in its summer season. Three will be held outdoors in the Mary Rippon Theatre: Shakespeare's best-loved play, A Midsummer Night's Dream; Carlo Goldoni's riotously funny 18th-century farce, The Servant of Two Masters; and Shakespeare's powerful political drama, Julius Caesar. Two plays will be presented indoors in the University Theatre: a funny and family-friendly adaptation of the famous Jules Verne novel, Around the World in 80 Days, and a lesser-known but fascinating Shakespeare comedy, All's Well That Ends Well. Then in December comes a family holiday production, an original adaptation of the delightful Dylan Thomas story, A Child's Christmas in Wales.

For patrons who like the excitement of opening night, this year the five summer plays open on five consecutive Saturday nights between June 23 and July 21.

CSF has a new producing artistic director after 17 years under Richard Devin. Philip Sneed's experience incorporates a long career of acting, producing, directing, and theatre administration, including a total of 66 productions of 22 of Shakespeare's plays. Sneed received a BFA in theatre from CU-Boulder and an MFA in acting from the University of California-San Diego.

Other improvements for 2007 include earlier outdoor curtain times on selected nights (6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Sundays), more comfortable seating, better acoustics, improved food selection and service, and heavily discounted tickets for youth (those under 12 are just $5, while teenagers get a 50 percent discount, both good for any play on any night). And, said Sneed, "we have some surprises in store, to help make this 50th season a summer to remember!"

Sneed explained that the Colorado Shakespeare festival is only the second Shakespeare festival in America to have reached its Golden Anniversary (Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival began in 1935).


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