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Shakespeare's Birthplace - Vermon Shakespeare Company

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The following article appeared Summer 2006 in
The Islander Vacation Guide

"Shakespeare in The Islands"

Looking for some live theatre for the whole family this summer?  Look no further.  The Vermont Shakespeare Company is in town this July presenting its rollicking production of Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.  This production marks the company’s second season in The Islands and if it is anything like their inaugural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year, expect an exciting, fast paced, hilarious night of entertainment. 

The mission of this professional theatre company is to present Shakespeare in an accessible and hip format and to combine the magic of live theatre with the beauty of our natural world.  To that end they perform outdoors at Knight Point State Park on a stage nestled in the woods.  Their productions are a nice addition to the many wonderful arts events presented in The Islands year-round.

Executive Director John Nagle is fulfilling a life-long dream with Vermont Shakespeare Company.  After a successful career as an actor where he performed in 38 states and in close to 30 productions of Shakespeare’s work, Nagle is thrilled to bring his passion for Shakespeare to Vermont.  The company includes actors from both Vermont and New York City, all of whom have fallen in love with The Islands and the amazing people who inhabit them. 

As theatre is a collaborative art, this company could not present their work here without the generous help of the community and groups like Island Arts.  It is abundantly clear that people are interested in supporting Shakespeare in The Islands and helping the company establish this as an annual summer event. Nagle said “We have been lucky in that we have found community members interested in housing and feeding many of our actors.  I can’t tell you what a difference this has made in our ability to do a high quality show.  Producing theatre is expensive, and when you don’t have to worry as much about spending money on housing and feeding the company, you can put your resources into the artistic elements of the show and create a fantastic product that will have a greater impact on the audience.”

Having an impact on the audience is what drives this ambitious group to work hard.  They rehearse 6 days a week, and do about 6 months of pre-production work in advance.
“We hope that we can encourage people to become active participants in the tradition of live theatre.” Nagle said.  Last year a 12 year old girl named Delilah saw the show and said “It was a great show and I think they did a great job re-enacting Shakespeare’s visions.”  For Vermont Shakespeare Company, that makes it all worth it. 

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