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Where to see Shakespeare in the parks of Brooklyn - Brooklyn Paper

Where to see Shakespeare in the parks of Brooklyn

Beach boys (and girls): The 14-member cast of Smith Street Stage will wash up on the shores of Carroll Park with its production of “The Tempest,” starting on June 8.
Chris Montgomery

The parks are alive with the sound of Shakespeare!

The free summer Shakespeare season is upon us, and soon it may seem that you cannot toss a frisbee without hitting someone in a doublet. But mark your calendars — some of these productions last only a few days!

This year, fans of the Bard can choose between his romances (“The Tempest” and “The Winter’s Tale”), comedies (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night”) or a tragedy (“Julius Caesar”), all in scenic outdoor locations.

Smith Street Stage

Shakespeare’s final play “The Tempest” becomes this summer’s first outdoor show, with a three-week run launching on June 8. The 14 actors of the Smith Street Stage, led by Kate Ross as the wizard Prospero, will transform Carroll Park into Shakespeare’s magical and mysterious island.

“The Tempest” in Carroll Park (Carroll Street between Court and Smith streets in Carroll Gardens, www.smithstreetstage.org), June 8–26, Wed–Sun at 7:30 pm. Free.

New York Classical Theatre

The theater brings its “panoramic theater” style back to the borough’s parks for its 17th season, with two productions of Shakespeare’s most romantic tales. In July, its production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” will feature star-crossed young lovers lost in the very real woods surrounding Prospect Park’s Long Meadow. And in August, the company plays against the season with “The Winter’s Tale” in Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, setting its story of a long-lost princess against the waterfront’s spectacular city views.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow [enter at Grand Army Plaza, East Drive at Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope, (212) 233–6496, www.newyorkclassical.org]. July 6–10 at 7 pm. Free.

“The Winter’s Tale” at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park [Old Fulton Street at Furman Street in Dumbo, (212) 233–6496, www.newyorkclassical.org]. August 9–10, 12–14 at 7 pm. Free.

Act Out! Productions

The young performers of Bay Ridge’s Act Out! Acting School school will present the tragedy of “Julius Caesar” amidst the beauty of the Narrows Botanical Gardens, with a production that enlists the audience to join the Roman crowds.

“Julius Caesar” at Narrows Botanical Gardens (Shore Road between Bay Ridge Avenue and 72nd Street, www.narrowsbg.org). July 16–17, and July 23–24, time TBA. Free.

South Brooklyn Shakespeare

The only summer Shakespeare show created in partnership with a bar presents Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity “Twelfth Night.” The show will come to life in front of South, its sponsoring pub, as part of the South Slope Summer Stroll on July 23, with a short second run at the Old Stone House in August. The show already has a signature drink — the “What You Will” punch created by South bartender Rosie Schaap.

“Twelfth Night” at South bar (629 Fifth Ave. between 17th and 18th streets in Park Slope, www.southbrooklynshakespeare.com). July 23 at 6:30 pm. At the Old Stone House in Washington Park [336 Third Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues]. August 4–6 at 8 pm. Free.

Summer stock: Prospect Park’s Long Meadow will provide a stage for the New York Classical Theatre in July, when it presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Miranda Arden

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