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Notre Dame College to Host Opening of Cleveland Shakespeare Festival’s Outdoor T
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Notre Dame College to Host Opening of Cleveland Shakespeare Festival’s Outdoor Theatre Season

Notre Dame College will host the opening of the 16th consecutive season of The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor performances with the troupe’s debut of “Measure for Measure” June 14 and 15 and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” June 21 and 22.

The four presentations of the works of William Shakespeare, which are free and open to the public, begin at 7 p.m. on the circle outside the College Administration Building. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and seat themselves prior to each outdoor show. 

In case of rain, the plays move indoors to the College’s Performing Arts Center, on the ground floor of the Administration Building.

"Measure for Measure" is a dark comedy of power, sex and morality. The Duke of Vienna turns the reins of power over to his protégé Angelo to enforce long-neglected codes of moral conduct. When a novice nun comes to plead for the life of her condemned brother, Angelo’s shockingly hypocritical response is to make an ‘indecent proposal’ that leaves Isabella to choose between her brother’s life and her salvation.  Isabella’s only ally is a friar, in reality the Duke in disguise, and he has a plan. The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Tyson Douglas Rand sets the play in a Vienna reminiscent of New Orleans, with the competing strains of gospel and jazz music in the air.

"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is Shakespeare’s earliest comedy but includes many of the same elements recognized in his later plays?cross-dressing disguises, madcap comic servants, witty banter and absurd love triangles. Young Proteus bids a tearful goodbye to Verona and his girlfriend Julia to join his lifelong friend Valentine in service of the Duke of Milan, where he immediately falls in love with Valentine’s beloved Silvia.  Julia dresses as a boy, travels to Milan and is employed as Proteus’ page, where she finds herself in the unenviable position of being the liaison between her boyfriend and his new girlfriend.  Director Pandora Robertson adds a fairytale setting and a physical style reminiscent of Commedia dell’Arte.

For more information, contact The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival at 440.794.1CSF, info@cleveshakes.org or www.cleveshakes.org

The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, to preserve and enrich the region’s artistic and cultural heritage.