Shakespeare at Winedale

Shakespeare at Winedale 41st Summer Season

Thu, August 4, 2011 | Winedale Historic Complex

7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Shakespeare at Winedale’s 2011 summer class will conclude its study of Shakespeare through performance with four weekends of public performances. Deviating from the traditional three-play format, this year’s class will present an extra play rounding out a diverse season with As You Like It, Hamlet, Henry VI part 2 and Henry the VI part 3. Performances will begin July 14th and run through August 7th; shows are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 7:30pm with matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $5 for students/UT ID holders and may be ordered online, by calling (512) 471-4726, or emailing Liz Fisher at

Shakespeare at Winedale was founded in 1970 by professor James B. Ayres who believed the best way to understand Shakespeare’s plays was through performing them. Over the years the program has developed a unique “page-to-stage” approach to the exploration of Shakespeare’s works, and evolved into a multi-faceted educational program including a three-month summer course dedicated to bringing the texts to life through the creative act of play.

Though the program is housed in the Liberal Arts College at UT, students participating in the summer program do most of their work in residence at the Winedale Historical Complex located near Round Top, Texas, and hold performances in a converted nineteenth-century hay barn.

This year’s season will be among one of the program’s largest and most diverse. “We’ve only done four plays in one previous summer, so this is a big challenge for us,” said program director James Loehlin, “but we’re very excited to be presenting such great plays in the 41st year of Shakespeare at Winedale.”

As You Like It is “a perennial favorite at Winedale- its music, laughter, and Forest of Arden setting make it a perfect play to stage in the barn,” said Loehlin. The play touches on the redemptive quality of nature, mistaken identities, reconciliation and love; it’s a romp which bears a cast of Shakespeare’s most colorful characters and plays host to his oft-quoted “All the World’s a Stage” speech.

Juxtaposing the joy of As You Like It is The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a dark and haunting tragedy. Tormented by his father’s untimely death, the young prince Hamlet is forced to grapple with his own fears and uncertainties. Often hailed the greatest play ever written, Hamlet is “a ghost story, a murder mystery, a tale of tragic love, and anything but overrated.”

Henry VI parts 2 and 3 will conclude Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses trilogy, a project started by last summer’s class with the production of Henry VI part 1. The exciting saga continues this summer as the inept Henry futilely attempts to maintain peace amongst England’s bickering nobility. The two plays can be seen independently, but together they comprise a bloody epic punctuated by political feuds, surprisingly funny malcontents, and “Shakespeare’s first great characters the warrior queen Margaret and the diabolical, hunchbacked Richard Gloucester who later becomes Richard III.”

When the students complete their work in residence, they will tour to Austin and Dallas, TX, as well as the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, home to the world’s only historical recreation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars stage. More information about touring dates and locations will be posted to the website soon.

Thursday, July 21st, is Fayette County Night; tickets for residents are only $4 and door prizes will be drawn at the end of the performance. Our annual Season Finale is Saturday, August 6th, beginning at 6:30pm with a special reception before the evening performance of As You Like It; tickets are $25.  Sunday, August 7th, we present Shakespeare’s complete Wars of the Roses cycle, with back-to-back performances of Henry VI parts 2 and 3 preceded by a staged reading of Henry VI part 1; tickets are $20, $15 for students, and will include all three performances, plus a brunch buffet at the reading and a reception after the evening performance. Tickets for individual performances for that day only will be $10 and tickets to the reading are $5.

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