Welcome to the Friday Five, where The Register asks five questions to preview local events or highlight area artists.
This weekend, The Ravine at Eastern Kentucky University will host a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."
Matthew Johnson, Professor and Director of Appalachian Shakespeare Center, provides more details.
1 What is Shakespeare in The Ravine?
Shakespeare in The Ravine is the annual free production from the Appalachian Shakespeare Center at EKU. The shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 July 19, 20 and 26, 27. The Ravine is the green space in the middle of campus that houses a large outdoor amphitheater perfect for a picnic and an evening of the Bard!
2 How did the Appalachian Shakespeare Center come about?
We've been producing Shakespeare in The Ravine for the last three summers and we wanted to continue and expand our work in the face of the budget crisis across all levels of education. This past spring we held a pilot of Shakespeare's Loose Canon Project and the Appalachian Shakespeare Center was born in earnest. We developed our mission to promote agency and citizenship in students and audience members through the work of William Shakespeare and function as an education center that produces theatre. This year we also have three weeks of summer day camp -- the Shakespeare Intensive camp for grades 9-12 is next week, see www.appshakes.com for details.
3 What can people expect at this year's shows in The Ravine?
This year we are producing "Much Ado About Nothing." Shakespeare's romantic comedy of errors features the wit and wily word play of two of his sharpest characters. Beatrice and Benedick spar their way into each other's hearts over the course of one wild weekend as the boys come home victorious from war and are looking for love. Villains, rubes, masquerades and mistaken identities abound in this Shakespeare favorite.
4 For those who have been in the past, why should they go again?
Its a different show every year! In the past we have produced "As You Like It," "The Tempest," "Romeo and Juliet" and this year is the terrific romantic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing." If folks have come before they know that our shows are bright, funny, fast, and free. We just produced this show in Lexington for a paying audience of over a thousand people and we are so pleased to be able to bring it home to Madison County and offer it for free. Clocking in at about 100 minutes and set just after World War II, this production is a rollicking, swing dancing good time.
5 What else will be going on at Shakespeare in The Ravine?
We will also have food trucks available for folks, or they can bring a picnic and enjoy the park in the Ravine. On the Friday the 26th at 7 p.m. our High School Intensive will have a pre-show performance of scenes they worked on at the camp.
Five more for the weekend, week ahead:
• Guided Hike at the Pinnacles, today, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. each day, The Forestry Outreach Center, 2047 Big Hill Road, Berea. Weather permitting, a Forestry Outreach Center volunteer or staff member will lead educational hikes on varying trails in the BC Forest. For more information, call 859-756-3315.
• Pancakes on the BUF, Saturday from 8:30-10 a.m., Berea Urban Farm, 201 Adams St., Berea. Learn more about the Berea Urban Farm's work in the community and meet your neighbors.
• Hops & Vine Festival Vol. 7, Saturday from 3-10 p.m., Apollo Pizza, South Second Street, Richmond. Kentucky craft breweries, six hours of live music, local food, local art, all outdoors in Downtown Richmond. Free and open to the public. From 8-10 p.m., there will be a 80s dance party with Retrobution.
• Summer ARTS Camp, July 22-26, The Spotlight Playhouse, 214 Richmond Road North, Berea. Students will take part in six classes each day. Classes will include musical theater dance, design(set/costumes), stage makeup, visual art, music, acting, etc. We have a full week of fun prepared. At the end of the week (Friday) we will have a short performance to show parents/families what we have been working on. Ages: Kindergarten through eighth grade. Cost: $75. Space is limited. Call or text 859-625-4176 (Sarah Jeck) to reserve your spot today.
• Veterans Grill Out, Thursday, July 25, from noon until 1 p.m., 311 Edwards Avenue, Richmond (park across from the build site). Habitat for Humanity is encouraging veterans and veteran supporters to come join them on build sites. Just eat with Habitat and get to know Habitat a little better in hopes to recruit both experienced and inexperienced builders for our weekly Habitat Builds. There will be hot dogs, chips, and Ale 8's.
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