Shakespeare Festival Will Bring The Bard To Payson

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This month the Arizona Shakespeare Festival (ASF) hits the road with a statewide tour of the romantic comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

The professional theatre company, headquartered in Prescott, will perform in 22 different locations through Oct. 25, stopping in Payson for a show on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. at Green Valley Park.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to bring the family and come out to enjoy Shakespeare like you’ve never seen it before,” Tracey Mason, ASF tour coordinator, said.

In just one hour, four actors playing all the roles tell this beloved comedy of love, betrayal and sinister rebels in a modern(ish) setting. It is a fun, fast-paced romp you won’t want to miss.

“There is action for the whole family presented in the true spirit and character of William Shakespeare,” Mason added.

“If you come out to the park, bring a blanket or lawn chair and a picnic,” Mason said. The event is free.

ASF was founded in Prescott in 1999 by theatre veterans Mason and Kelly Johnston. Professional theatre members and guest actors have performed in both outdoor and indoor venues in Prescott and throughout the state over the last decade.

“This is our second statewide tour, and we are excited to perform in last year’s locations as well as the new cities added,” Johnston said.

“Our directors have the freedom to take the playwright’s work and make it exciting, engaging and relevant to modern day audiences while holding on to the language, poetry and deep artistry that is William Shakespeare.”

Almost all summer/fall 2009 performances will take place in outdoor venues and all performances are free to the public.

A suggested donation of $5 is welcomed. For more information, call the local parks and recreation department, 474-5242, ext. 7, or go to the ASF Web site at www.

azshakes.com.

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