An area of Lake Kegonsa State Park will become a stage Saturday, July 20, for a Summit Players Theater performance of “Romeo and Juliet.”
The Milwaukee based theater company performs Shakespeare’s classic at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 20. At 5:30 p.m. the group will host an interactive workshop to help understand Shakespearian language and the way nature was intertwined in his work.
As part of its annual summer series, Summit Players Theater company travels to Wisconsin state parks and performs Shakespearian plays that are appropriate for all ages, managing director and company cofounder A.J. Magoon said.
“We don’t change the script at all, but we do reduce it in a smaller format to cut away the arcane things like historical references and flowery descriptive long language, so that you can get down to the core concepts,” Magoon said.
This year, the seven member traveling theater company is making its way through 18 state parks. The team will settle and camp at Lake Kegonsa State Park for the fifth year in a row.
“We love Lake Kegonsa,” Magoon said. “We get the same experience that some of the participants do, so we swim, have a picnic and then go back (to our) camp.”
The 45 minute pre-performance workshop is for children and “fun adults,” titled “Playing with Shakespeare: Get Outside with Will.” The interactive workshop complements the play and helps participants better understand the writing and the play itself.
There are a few fun exercises during the workshop, Magoon said, including a Shakespeare character walk in which participants can act out archetype characters like kings, servants and fairies.
“We ask things like, ‘What does a king do? Show me with your body how a servant would act,’” Magoon said. “We are not just sitting in a circle and talking about Shakespeare.”
At the end of the workshop participants will get a piece of Shakespearean text and become an actor for a day.
The goal of the Summit Players Theater, is to create “Shakespeare anyone can afford, attend and understand,” and allow people to view their state parks, according to a news release.
Visit summitplayerstheater.com for a full schedule