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Kentucky Shakespeare To Present Italy-Centric Season


The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival's next season will include an indoor presentation for the first time in the festival’s history.

The company announced its new season on Monday. In January, Kentucky Shakespeare will present the Shakespeare comedy “Twelfth Night” at the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theatre. Tickets for "Twelfth Night" will cost $20; the production will serve as a fundraiser for the free summer season.

This summer, the season at Central Park features three Shakespeare plays set in Italy: “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “The Winter’s Tale" and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Kentucky Shakespeare Artistic Director Matt Wallace will direct the 'Twelfth Night" production. He said it’s one of his favorite Shakespeare plays because of what the play's title represents.

“Traditionally, historically, the Twelfth Night, the night right before the Epiphany, really the 12th day of Christmas, this sort of topsy-turvy time of misrule, and sort of a Feast of Fools,” Wallace said.

"Twelfth Night" will open on Jan. 5, the actual 12th night of Christmas, and will run through Jan. 10.

Guest director Amy Attaway will direct "The Winter's Tale," and Wallace will direct the other two summer plays.

"Romeo and Juliet" will also be performed in a shorter touring version that will be seen at several local parks and public libraries throughout the spring. Alongside telling the tale of doomed teenagers in love, the production will also explore race relations.

"The Montague family's going to be all African-American, and the Capulet family will be caucasian," Wallace said. "I think it's a beautiful love story, and it's also a piece that we can learn about conflict and conflict resolution."

Each of the three summer plays will run for two weeks, followed by two weeks of rotating repertory. The main season will wrap up with the annual "Bard-a-Thon," when all three plays are performed on the same day.

Continuing the tradition of welcoming community partners to the Central Park stage, Louisville Improvisors will perform several “Late Night Shakes” improvised shows, and CenterStage will bring a musical version of “Romeo and Juliet” in the form of “West Side Story.” Kentucky Shakespeare's training program for high school actors, The Globe Players, will also present "As You Like It."