The Bard is back in the Hudson Valley. At least, his spirit is. Thanks to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, anyone can experience the poetic works of one of English literature’s greatest icons. The fest, which takes place at the historic Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, kicks off on June 7 and runs until September 3. During that time, folkloric legends like Robin Hood, Rip Van Winkle, and the Little Mermaid will grace the stage alongside Shakespearean staples like Richard II and Petruchio.
In anticipation of the opening, here are a few of our top picks.
June 15 – August 24
A true Shakespearean classic, The Taming of the Shrew has graced the screen and the stage more times than anyone can count. Whether you love the traditional story or the 10 Things I Hate About You rendition, do yourself a favor and check out this summer’s edition. Directed by Shana Cooper and starring Liz Wisan as fiery Kate, the play follows the highs, lows, and unexpected turns that are inevitable on the road to romance.
Related: A Guide to Enjoying Shakespeare
August 13, 14, 21
Although not a work by the Bard himself, The Sea-Maid’s Music is an original composition by Zachary Fine, the winner of the 2015 Helen Hayes Award and the creator of the festival’s 2016 devised production, So Please You. The tale follows the adventures of a young Will Shakespeare as he seeks to escape from everyday life with the help of an inspiring mermaid. The show opens on the night of August 13 and includes two free matinee showings on August 14 and 21. During the rest of the month, the production hits the highway as part of the HVSF On the Road program.
August 31, September 1, 3
Longtime Hudson Valley residents will love this extension of one of the region’s most beloved folktales. In director Seth Bockley’s adaptation of Washington Irving’s Catskills-based story, the narrative centers on the community in which Rip Van Winkle lived. Rip’s daughter, wife, and fellow citizens have an original voice in the charming, quirky world of the legend, transforming it from an age-old narrative to a colorful work that will delight audience members both old and young. Notably, Rip Van Winkle is the first original mainstage commission by the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and the formal launch of the program’s Full Circle initiative to build and sustain community.
For the full schedule of performances, which includes Richard II and The Heart of Robin Hood, and to purchase tickets, visit the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s website or call 845.265.9575.