PRINCETON — Festival 56 will open its 11th season of free Shakespeare in Princeton’s Soldiers and Sailors Park at 7:30 p.m. July 6 with the comedy “As You Like It.” After opening night, it will be performed at the same time every Wednesday and Sunday evening through July 27.
Fifteen minutes before each performance of "As You Like It," Festival 56 will offer “Basic Bill: Shakespeare Made Easy,” a free presentation about the play. One of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies, "As You Like It" takes place in the Forest of Arden, making the Princeton park setting for it perfect. It features overlapping love stories, most principally that of Rosalind and Orlando. The famous Shakespeare monologue “all the world’s a stage,” is spoken by the character, Jaques, in "As You Like It."
With more than a decade of offering free outdoor Shakespeare every summer, Festival 56 has made it possible for hundreds of people to enjoy the genius, wit and magic of the world’s most famous playwright. Local children have been able to grow up hearing Shakespeare in a fully staged and costumed production before the often maligned introduction of Shakespeare in high school English.
"As You Like It" is appropriate for all ages. Festival 56 suggests bringing lawn chairs.
Carus Corporation is the sponsor of this season’s production of "As You Like It." The production is also supported by a grant from the Russell and Eleanor Sikes Peters Performing Arts Fund of Community Foundation of Central Illinois and by the generosity of Festival 56 supporters.
For more information about the entire Festival 56 summer season of musicals, dramas and comedies, visit the Grace Performing Arts Center, 316 S. Main St., Princeton or www.festival56.com. The box office is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and an hour before each performance. Call the box office at 815-879-5656, ext. 11.