Kim McMillon, the host of Arts in the Valley interviews Heike Hambley, the Artistic Director of Merced Shakespearefest, the only free outdoor Shakespeare festival in Merced County.
How the Merced Shakespeare Festival was born by Heike Hambley.
I love Shakespeare and all his characters, the lovers, the fools, the witches, the witty servants, the warriors and the timeless poetry. I also love Shakespeare festivals and Renaissance fairs and theatre and working with people to put on a finished production everybody can be proud of and have fun with.
Merced’s own Shakespeare festival was born out of these sentiments and helped by a successful production of “Twelfth Night” that I directed for Merced Center for the Performing Arts, now Playhouse Merced, in February 2002. Cast and crew had so much fun that at the cast party some of us decided to explore the possibility of bringing a Shakespeare festival to the whole community. Wonderful Shakespeare enthusiasts like Michael Egan, Julianne Aguilar, Carolyn Hart, and others brainstormed and discussed and worked hard. Three months later we had raised some money from generous friends, relatives and art lovers, got rehearsal space from the Playhouse, a non-profit umbrella from the Merced Arts Council and had rented the rarely used Merced Open Air Theatre in Applegate Park. This stage is a perfect Shakespearian space, wide open with pillars on both sides, a lot of sun and natural light for the performers, but green grass and shade trees for the audience. http://www.mercedshakespearefest.org/contact.htm
This summer, As You Like It, directed by Colton Dennis.
2013 PERFORMANCE DATES:
September 14, 15, 21 & 22, and possibly a 3rd weekend in Mariposa.
To listen to Heike’s interview, click onto the link:
John Curl is an American poet, memoirist, translator, author, activist, and historian.
He is author of seven books of poetry, including Scorched Birth (2004), which former San Francisco poet laureate Jack Hirschman called “a book of wonders.” His best known book is probably his history of the cooperative and communalist movements, For All The People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America (PM Press, 2009), which historian Howard Zinn described as “inspiring.” Memories of Drop City (2007) is his memoir of the 1960s communal movement and the first “hippie” commune, in Colorado, where he lived between 1966-69, which Ishmael Reed called “highly crafted and brilliant,” and Al Young described as “compelling.” His play The Trial of Christopher Columbus was produced by the PEN Oakland Writers Theater in Berkeley (2009). His poetry books include Columbus in the Bay of Pigs (1991); Decade (1987); and Tidal News (1982); and has published poems in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Words Upon the Waters, Oakland Out Loud, Blake Times, Left Curve, Central Park, Poetry USA, Anthology of East Bay Poets, Poetry Flash, and Pulse of the People. He was a member of the San Francisco Cloud House circle of poets in the 1980s.
To listen to John Curl, click onto the link: