COLORADO SPRINGS – UCCS Theatreworks will expand its annual summer Shakespeare at the Ranch program at Colorado Springs’ Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site to include two plays: “Macbeth” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Pre-show entertainment will create a festival atmosphere. The program will also feature two pop-up performances by participants in Shakespeare-themed summer camps. Shakespeare at the Ranch will take place from July 26–Aug 26, 2018.
Theatreworks founder and Shakespeare aficionado Murray Ross, who passed away in 2017, dreamed of an event like this year’s expanded Summer Shakespeare festival. The Colorado Springs community is invited to experience premier performances in a unique outdoor setting. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, near Garden of the Gods, has hosted Summer Shakespeare since 2010.
Shakespeare enthusiast Jeff Flygare will direct “Macbeth.” An actor in numerous Theatreworks productions since his debut in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” in 1982, Flygare was a longtime friend of Murray Ross. The two co-directed more than a dozen productions of Shakespeare at Theatreworks and UCCS since 1992. “Macbeth” is Flygare’s directorial debut at Theatreworks. He recently established an endowed fund to support the salaries of non-equity members of Theatreworks Shakespeare productions at UCCS in perpetuity. His generosity and commitment to fostering local talent assisted in funding the all-local casts of “Macbeth” and “Complete Works.”
The tragedy “Macbeth” is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays and is dominated by its title character’s pursuit of the Scottish throne. Theatreworks’ production of the timeless classic will be set in the modern era. Steve Emily will star as Macbeth. The play’s creative team includes Jonathan Wentz (scenic design), Sarah Beth Parks (costume design), Seth Alison (lighting design) and Bob Morsch (sound design). The play opens July 26.
“The summer Shakespeare program was Murray’s ‘baby,’ and we’re determined to continue his legacy of high-quality Shakespeare productions,” said Flygare. “Our ‘Macbeth’ will play with the liminal line between dream and reality. The nature of what is true and what is imagined is an important issue in the play. Along with political intrigue, issues of loyalty and the shifting nature of loyalty in the political court, this theme makes ‘Macbeth’ relevant to contemporary society.”
Cory Moosman will direct “the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Moosman founded Pueblo, Colorado’s Steel City Theatre Company (SCTC) as well as WYNOT Radio Theatre in 2001. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including from the Pikes Peak Arts Council and the Pueblo Performing Arts Guild. His varied directing work includes award-winning productions of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Beauty and the Beast” and others. Moosman has acted on Colorado stages in productions of “The Producers,” “1776,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”
“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” is one of the most popular small-cast plays, featuring just three actors, and condenses all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in under two hours. This irreverent rollercoaster provides the perfect complement to the somber genius of “Macbeth.” The creative team for “The Complete Works” includes the same scenic, costume, lighting, and sound designers as “Macbeth.” “The Complete Works” opens August 2.
Tickets are now on sale at http://theatreworkscs.org or through the box office at (719) 255-3232. “Macbeth” runs July 26-Aug 26 and “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” runs Aug. 2-25 at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site near Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
On July 27 before “Macbeth,” participants in the Muse Education Program’s summer camp Shakespeare on the Green will perform a condensed version of “Twelfth Night.” On August 3 before “Complete Works,” Clowning Around with Shakespeare campers will perform comedic scenes from Shakespeare’s canon. The MUSE: Creative Learning Education Program connects the Colorado Springs community with the professional arts programs of UCCS Presents and provides creative experiences for teachers, schools, and families through hands-on, experiential learning. MUSE: Creative Learning is led by Joye Cook-Levy, UCCS Presents Education Program Director.
On August 12 at 5:30 pm before “Macbeth,” the Theatreworks Prologue lecture “Shakespeare, Community and the Park” will feature incoming artistic director Caitlin Lowans and an evening of Shakespeare, tradition, and future dreaming. Attendance is free but registration is required at http://theatreworkscs.org. Prologue is a one-of-a kind series sponsored by THEATREWORKS, the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and the Department of Humanities at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The series consists of theatre talks, performances and hands-on workshops featuring some of the most important theater makers working in the United States today.
Pre-show entertainment will begin at 6:00 pm before shows. Margo’s Vienna Station food truck will provide pre-show food.
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