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July 30, 2014

Wheaton College Arena Theater and Wheaton Park District Present Shakespeare in the Park, August 29-30

Theater under the summer night sky returns to Memorial Park in Wheaton with Shakespeare in the Park on August 29 and 30.

A unique partnership has been forged between the Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College’s Arena Theater to present William Shakespeare’s "Love’s Labour’s Lost," a light and mirthful tale about attraction, mistaken identities, and love. This free event begins at 7 pm both nights; Sunday, July 31 is the rain date (also starting at 7 pm). The park opens at 6 pm for seating and concessions.

The partnership between Wheaton College’s Arena Theater and the Wheaton Park District began last year with the intention of bringing Shakespeare in the Park to Wheaton for many years to come. Andy Mangin, Production Manager at Wheaton College’s Arena Theater, says, “We were very happy with the success of the event last year, and now we’re building it to become something more established as we go. We’re laying the groundwork in in the second year to do this great community event every year.”

"Love’s Labour’s Lost" was one of the first plays William Shakespeare wrote. Considered one of his comedies, the story follows the hijinks of the king of Navarre and his three lords, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, who all swear an oath to scholarship, which includes fasting and avoiding contact with women for three years. As the men encounter visiting fair maidens, however, flirtations fly and confusion ensues.

Mangin says the cast will include primarily Arena Theater alumni, but will also include current students. Students are also involved in the planning and backstage elements of the production. Mark Lewis, M.F.A. in Acting and theater professor at Wheaton College, is the director.

One feature that makes Wheaton’s Shakespeare in the Park stand out from others in the area is live music during the performance. Mangin says, “Shakespeare’s words are beautiful, but Wheaton’s Shakespeare in the Park is finding its voice, which doesn’t just include the spoken word. It was a big part of the success of last year’s show, so we’re looking forward to featuring this again.”

Wheaton’s Memorial Park is located at 208 West Union Avenue, bound by Wheaton Avenue, Union Avenue, Hale Street, and Seminary Avenue. To learn more about Shakespeare in the Park and other events, visit the Wheaton Park District website at wheatonparkdistrict.com. To learn more about Wheaton College’s Arena Theater, visit wheaton.edu/Arena-Theater.


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