The Bard is back in the Hudson Valley. At least, his spirit is. Thanks to Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, anyone can experience the poetic works of one of English literature’s greatest icons.
After pressing pause on its 2020 season in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) returns to the historic Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison for its final season before it relocates to a permanent home in Philipstown in 2022. Understandably, this season, which runs from June 24 to September 4, is a little different from years past. To keep guests and visitors safe during performances, HVSF implements a number of health protocols, including:
Additionally, those who plan to attend a show will need to fill out a symptom screening online on the day of the performance prior to arrival. All guests will have their temperature checked via a contactless thermometer.
As for the lineup itself, it’s a much-anticipated mix of the Bard’s iconic work and an Americana adaptation. In anticipation of the opening, here’s what to know about the shows:
June 24 – July 30
Written by James Ijames and directed by Taylor Reynolds, this spectacle dives into the heart of American history, bringing audiences back to the days of George Washington and his wife, Martha. The story goes down on Christmas Eve, 1800, when Washington is dead and Martha battles a fever. In his will, Washington included an order to free his enslaved people upon his wife’s death. Now, as Martha struggles into the night, those enslaved at Mount Vernon await their freedom. Throughout the show, audiences follow along as Martha works her way through a fever dream that brings her face to face with America’s sins.
August 5 – September 4
A true Shakespearean classic, The Tempest invites viewers to a magical island inhabited by Prospero, an exile and powerful magician, along with his daughter and a cast of colorful, semi-otherworldly creatures. When an outsider arrives, the socially distant world that Prospero has built up for himself threatens to unravel, even as new connections forge and brighter futures emerge. This play is particularly significant for HVSF’s final 34th season at Boscobel, since it is believed to be the Bard’s last play.
In addition to its two feature performances, which will both be filmed and available for online streaming later, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will also unveil an audio production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth on June 7. It will be available for streaming through June 20.
For the full schedule of performances and purchase tickets, visit Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s website or call 845.265.9575.