12 Things (or What You Will) about Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Twelfth Night is up and running in Southmoreland Park. Here are 12 things to know about this year’s show and the Festival before summer’s end.

  1. Twelfth Night is halfway through its run in Southmoreland Park.
    This summer’s production has 18 performances, and Thursday June 23 marks the halfway point. Next Monday, June 27 is the only “dark” performance day between now and July 3. Get to Southmoreland Park early to claim your spot on the lawn. Gates open at 6:00 p.m.
  1. The First Folio exhibit closes June 28.
    First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare packs up and moves on to its next city on Tuesday, June 28. Only a few days remain to see the book that saved 18 of Shakespeare’s plays—including Twelfth Night—up close at the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Representatives from the Library will be in Southmoreland Park a few nights this weekend to answer any questions you might have about the exhibit.
  2. Learn all about Twelfth Night at the pre-show parody.
    Do you get to the park wanting to know just a little bit more about the play? Have you searched for plot summaries and given up? Let Team Shakespeare and their 30-minute parody of Twelfth Night prepare you for the main stage show. Written and acted by members of the Festival’s year-round apprentice acting troupe, the Twelfth Night parody will present all the plot points in a condensed and comical form. Catch it at 6:30 p.m. or 7:15 p.m.
  3. Camp Shakespeare is still enrolling.
    The actors presenting this year’s parody have all come through the Festival’s camp programs. Although Twelfth Night closes the first weekend of July, there are camp offerings available until the end of the month. It’s also the 20th anniversary of Camp Shakespeare this summer! Pick up a brochure at the Education table, set up right next to the parody performance area, and talk with an Education staff member or intern about how to enroll.
  4. Our Show Talk speaker rotation changes this Friday.
    If you want an in-depth look at this summer’s Twelfth Night, step just “beyond the south gate” for Show Talk, a nightly lecture that starts at 7:00 p.m. June 23rd is the last night for Phillip blue owl Hooser. Dr. Felicia Londre takes over on Friday, June 24.
  5. Signed performances are offered for the hearing impaired.
    The last interpreted performance is Sunday, June 26. Interpreters will be lit just down right from the Festival’s stage.
  1. Twelfth Night is “bringing down the house.”
    At least according to Bob Butler, who reviewed the opening night for The Kansas City Star. You can read his full review here.
  2. KCUR lets you listen in easy.
    Julie Denesha has been outside capturing actors in costumes while Janet Saidi tells you about this year’s Jazz-inspired live music. Check out both articles here and here before coming out to the park.
  3. KC Live takes you inside the show.
    Bree Elrod woke up with KC Live’s Michelle Davidson and Joel Nichols to give morning viewers a sneak peek at her character Viola in Twelfth Night. Thanks to the internet, you can see video clips from her interview as well as some footage from a dress rehearsal here.
  1. Take a selfie with Shakespeare.
    Festival mascot GOOD WILL will be in Southmoreland Park this weekend and next. Say hello and snap a photo before the show begins. The Festival loves to see photos of Good Will with his fans, so let us know about your Shakespearience in the park. Tag your photos with #kcshakes or #kc12thnight.
  1. Then find the Festival on Instagram.
    Did you know the Festival had an Instagram account? This summer, company members have taken turns taking over the account to give you a-day-in-the-life looks at putting the show on. Follow the Festival @kcshakes to see exclusive photos from behind and in front of the stage.
  2. And follow the Festival on Twitter and Facebook, too.
    If you’re looking for year-round updates on programs, events, and workshops, look no further than the Festival’s Twitter and Facebook pages. If you check back often enough, you’ll be the first to see exclusive content. You might stumble upon a giveaway every once in a while, too.

–Alyson Germinder, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Dramaturg

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