Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Celebrates Its
25th Anniversary Season with
Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors
Garrison, NY) – Over the past 24 years the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has become one of the most critically acclaimed and publically lauded Shakespeare companies in the country. The professional ensemble, under the visionary eye of founding artistic director Terrence O’Brien, presents three shows in repertory from June through Labor Day in their theater tent on the grounds of historic Boscobel in Garrison, New York. In celebration of their 25th Season HVSF will explore the full range of Shakespeare’s world when they present Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors. The third show will be announced in December.
Founding Artistic Director Terrence O’Brien and company have boldly taken on Shakespeare’s “difficult” plays over the past few seasons - presenting Cymbeline, Pericles and last season’s critical success Troilus and Cressida. Not one to shy away from a challenge, O’Brien will take on Hamlet for the first time in the Festival’s quarter-century history. “In the past we have focused on the plays that people don’t have much opportunity to see and now they are part of their local culture. They are certain of the major plays that we haven't grappled with and its time. Hamlet is simply brilliant. It is the longest, richest and most complex of the plays that often falls prey to star turns.” O’Brien has created an ensemble which will be critical to the overall approach to the season. “I think it will be interesting to see an ensemble production with everyone contributing and equally involved even though one person will have five times the lines. And because it’s one of the greatest plays in the English language, what better way to celebrate our work and our 25th anniversary season?” said O’Brien.
“The Comedy of Errors – a play on the far end of the spectrum from Hamlet – offers great parts for comedic actors,” O’Brien continues. “We have some great comic actors in their prime and ready to take it on. There are also great parts for women, which a lot of Shakespeare plays don’t have. It’s a great contrast toHamlet where the language is very poetic and beautiful. While Comedy’s language is also very beautiful, it’s fast, accessible.”
Fast and accessible are two oft-found traits of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. As important as the actors and directors are, O’Brien believes the audience plays an equally important role in every season. “The actor/audience connection is at the heart of our work and I believe it is what sets us apart and has made us so successful. We are committed to bringing our work especially to people who never believed they could comprehend or enjoy Shakespeare. I hope the audience understands that for us the real moment of creation occurs not in the isolation of the rehearsal studio, but when the actors engage with the audience in the blast furnace of live performance,” O’Brien concluded.
The region’s only professional resident Shakespeare Company, HVSF 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.
“Populism without pandering: That's the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's style and I've never seen it go wrong.”
–—Terry Teachout, the Wall Street Journal
TICKETS AND INFORMATION
Tickets will be available through the website in early April and gift certificates are currently available on the website: www.hvshakespeare.org or by calling the HVSF office, (845) 265-7858.
For more information about the 2011 25th Anniversary Season at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, as well as information about their ongoing Education and Community Outreach Programs, contact the Festival at (845) 265-7858.