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Wright Park welcomes William Shakespeare

The cast of the Seattle Shakespeare Company performing As You Like It. The group will perform the play July 31 at Wright Park. Photo credit:

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I've recently been rewatching a delightful show from Canada called Slings & Arrows. As the title might suggest, the show has to do with the works of William Shakespeare - namely, a Canadian Shakespeare company that finds itself straining under the pressure of an action movie actor in the title role of Hamlet, the meddling works of a managing director who only wants the company to do crowd-pleasing musicals, and the mental breakdown of an actor-cum-director who seeks to make this production surpass his own, self-sabotaging version from a decade before. It's funny, touching and most of all fascinated with the text of the great bard.

What comes out in the wash is the idea that, while Shakespeare is practically unimpeachable, there is always more left to be dissected and devoured when it comes to his work. Hamlet means a lot of things to a lot of people, but translating that into one's own language, as an actor, can bring up questions that you never thought you might have. To revere the text, to read it as you would any other dense bit of writing that you haven't quite connected with - this presents a problem for both the actor and the audience. Because the writing is so dense and written in a language that may be impenetrable to the average theater-goer, it becomes an imperative for the actor to convey all of the meaning in their voice and inflection.

On July 31, Metro Parks will be delivering a production of Shakespeare in the Park - in this case, the park being Wright. While the production itself will be one of Shakespeare's comedies: As You Like It performed by the Seattle Shakespeare Company.

Additionally, we have the idea of seeing performers projecting in a public space, which is how so many playas used to be performed so many years ago.

With this Shakespearian troupe performing in this public park, it would be a fine act of yours to swing by, and to find a group of men and women bringing a bit of craftsmanship and ages-old drama to a park that normally houses wading pools. Summer is built for theater.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, 7-8:30 p.m., Friday, July 31, Wright Park, 501 South I St., Tacoma

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