Shakespeare in the Park started in 1998 with the first performance at Centennial Park. Chambers Stevens produced As You Like It as the first production for the free event.
Over the years, the festival has become one of the most trusted resources for schools to provide workshops for students. They have currently performed for over 180,000 students. If you are looking for a fun and educational place to take your family this summer, here are four reasons why Shakespeare in the Park is a great place to go.
The performances of both A Winter’s Tale and Antony and Cleopatra are open to the public this summer. And thanks to the support of their sponsors like the Tennessee and Metro Arts Commissions, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival is able to produce the plays at no cost to the public. Though there is a suggested donation of $10.00 because they must raise over $250,000 in support each year to continue.
It’s Easier to Understand than You Think
The flowery language can be off-putting, but when you experience Shakespeare live, it is actually more accessible. With the context of intonation, props, and gestures, it is much easier to understand.
The Great Stories
This year’s production promises two of Shakespeare’s great plays, A Winter’s Tale and Cleopatra. A Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s later romance that has some intense psychological drama. However, it’s also quite comedic. It has princes and princesses disguised, wild man-eating bears, betrayal, grief, and a deep sense of the mythic. Namely, everything you would want in a great story! Antony and Cleopatra is Shakespeare’s interpretation of one of the most influential moments in world history, the founding of the Roman Empire. Not only is there the cold, Machiavellian calculation of Octavius Caesar, but you also have the dramatic romance of the title characters.
It’s at the Park!
Centennial Park is one of the treasures of Nashville. As you watch the great performances you will also have the cool breeze, the fresh cut grass, the summer night. Bring your favorite picnic basket and lawn chairs. With your friends and family in tow, you’ll have a night you’ll never forget!