New Swan Shakespeare Festival Presents Two Shakespeare Classics

New Swan - As You Like It

New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s As You Like It. Photos by Paul Kennedy

New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s 5th season is currently featuring two Shakespearean classics, As You Like It and Hamlet, in its mini-Elizabethan theater on the campus of UC Irvine. Since the festival debuted in 2012 the two-play season has grown to include a Music Monday series featuring diverse performances such as “Shakespeare’s Fool” featuring Jason Freddy’s trio, the all-female Mariachi Las Colibrí II, and Mozart Mondays, as well as a seminar series that takes place an hour before curtain.

Eli Simon, New Swan’s artistic director, helms As You Like It, Shakespeare’s beloved comedy of love and disguise, exile and companionship. Simon sets the show in the Depression Era, with original folk music written by Alan Terricciano, and performed by the actors, for an intimate evening of love, fantasy, and companionship…as you like it.

New Swan - Hamlet

New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet

Returning for her fourth season with the festival to direct Hamlet is Beth Lopes, associate artistic director of New Swan Shakespeare Festival. At its heart, Hamlet is a ghost story. While most of us push away the shadow of mortality, Hamlet embraces it in the form of his father’s ghost. This ghost is present throughout this production, driving the action forward and forcing his son to grapple with outrageous circumstances.

Lopes says, “We all carry ghosts with us – ghosts which comfort and ghosts which burden – and we can’t always choose which ones we will encounter. Luckily for Hamlet, and for the audience, his father’s ghost appears to us all, and we travel on this journey together as the boy becomes a man … and then a ghost story of his own. This visceral, fast-paced production is perfectly suited for the vulnerable intimacy of the New Swan Theater.”

Please note that, due to the theater configuration, there is no late seating for the performances. For tickets and more information, visit NewSwanShakespeare.com.

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Photo Flash: New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 Summer Season

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Adam Schroeder and Leslie Lank as Romeo and Juliet

New Swan Shakespeare Festival continues its third annual summer of Shakespeare in its unique and intimate mini-Elizabethan theater with performances of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet alternating through August 29.

Artistic Director Eli Simon, “New Swan Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to the investigation and production of Shakespeare’s plays and other relevant works. Our 125-seat mini-Elizabethan open-air theater allows us to forge a visceral relationship between actors and audience. We want our audiences to experience the actions, emotions, and story-lines as deeply as our artistic teams. The intimacy of the New Swan Theater makes this possible. In this context, our productions focus on linguistic acuity and the deft illumination of the text.”

There is also one more performance of HYPERBOLE: bard presented by Rogue Artist Ensemble on Sunday, August 24 at 5:00 pm. This family-friendly show takes Shakespeare’s best characters, poetry and plot devices and remixes them with intricate mask work, original puppets and live music, Rogue-style. Tickets for all New Swan Shakespeare Festival performances are available at www.newswanshakespeare.com.

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Ensemble

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Colin Nesmith as Malvolio in Twelfth Night

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Rosemary Brownlow as Viola and Samantha Aneson as Olivia in Twelfth Night

Click Here for more photos from New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Gorgeous.

New Swan Shakespeare Festival Begins 3rd Season of Theatre-in-the-Round Tonight

New Swan Theater

New Swan Shakespeare Festival presents its third annual season of Shakespearean productions under the stars, in a unique and intimate mini-Elizabethan theater. Last summer the 125-seat theater-in-the-round hosted over 4,000 patrons at its sold-out shows, firmly establishing it as a destination event for summer entertainment, artistic satisfaction, and family fun.

This season the Festival presents freshly imagined productions of Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, which will run in rotating repertory July 10 through August 30. New this year are pre-performance seminars that will be held on many nights adjacent to the theater on the Gateway Plaza in front of UC Irvine’s Langson Library.

The theater will also host its first musical event, Mozart Monday, a fundraiser on Monday, August 18. The evening features Maestro Benjamin Simon and friends from the LA Philharmonic in a program of chamber music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  More

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