There’s Shakespeare popping up in Bend

ShakespeareLast year Lay It Out Events launched a fairly successful “Shakespeare in the Park” event that took place in Drake Park in August: three days of a live performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that was very well received. They’re back again this year with one of the big ones: “Romeo and Juliet” which will be taking place August 23, 24 and 25 (Thursday through Saturday). From the press release:

Tickets are now on sale for Romeo & Juliet, to be performed August 23, 24 and 25 in Drake Park. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved tragedies, Romeo & Juliet tells the iconic tale of star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy. The play will be directed by Jon Kretzu, Associate Artistic Director at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, and acted by players from Bend-based Cat Call Productions. This intimate outdoor play is Lay It Out Events’ second annual Shakespeare in the Park in Bend, which produced A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2011. Tickets are $20 – $75, available at

For each of the three showings, doors open at 5pm and the performance starts at 6pm.

Ironically, that’s not the only Shakespeare production happening in Bend in August, and the venue might surprise you: GoodLife Brewing is hosting “The Tempest”:

GoodLife Brewing Company is very happy to announce that we are partnering with Innovation Theatre Works to present Central Oregon’s first-ever FREE OUTDOOR SHAKESPEARE in our Biergarten.

We are pleased to be presenting what has often been called Shakespeare’s “most perfect play”. THE TEMPEST combines the best elements of Shakespeare’s comedies AND tragedies and rolls them up into one exhilarating package replete with storms, fairies, sea creatures, kings, drunks, revenge and true love. This version will be set against one of the most defining moments of the 20th century as we incorporate the music, atmosphere and celebration that was WOODSTOCK. Woodstock has long been referred to as an island of humanity unto itself and we felt the elements that make The Tempest such a classic will be well served by mashing it up with this iconic moment in our contemporary history.

You’ll still need tickets even though this show is free (there’s a limit of 4 free tickets per person), which you can pick up at Innovation Theatre Works (at 1155 SW Division Street in the Scandia Square) or at GoodLife. “The Tempest” will be performing on August 10, 11, and 12 (Friday through Sunday) at 7pm, 7pm, and 2pm respectively.

I have to say, I’m a big fan of Shakespeare and I think this is amazing and exciting to see both of these taking place in Bend (and the Shakespeare in the Park for its second year!) with these kind of outdoor events. If you can go to either (or better yet to both) then you really should. Seeing Shakespeare performed is a vastly differently and more enjoyable experience than reading it and I hope you won’t be disappointed.

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