Shakespeare on the Sound to Present 2 GENTS JR.

Shakespeare on the Sound to Present 2 GENTS JR.

A condensed version of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona, " complete with costumes and sets, is to be assembled by students age 6 to 14 and added to Shakespeare on the Sound's summer camps for 2014.

This interpretation of "2 Gents Jr." is part of a series of weeklong summer camps (June 19-27) offered at the Rowayton Community Center near the grassy slopes of Pinkney Park where the full-blown production unfolds June 12-29 at 7:30pm for a 19th season of free Shakespeare in the park under the stars.

Darien's Emily Bryan, Shakespeare on the Sound's education director, says "the development of the camps reflects a growing interest in The Bard as a cultural and historic cornerstone."

To give more students access to Shakespeare's poetic expression and the emotional power of the language, Bryan says the company is offering tuition rebates to parents prepared to pitch in with set-construction and costume-making at the camps.

Shakespeare on the Sound's summer camps give kids a great introduction to the play they will see in Pinkney Park, says Bryan. In addition to "2 Gents Jr., "The Groundlings" (named for the Shakespeare's audience members who had to stand at the Globe), offers 6-to-10 year olds a chance during one of three sessions June 9-27 to explore Shakespeare's characters and really get to know the play. There is also "Saturday With the Bard" June 14 for the entire family.

Bryan and Claire Shannon Kelly, the director of this summer's production, have designed the camps and year-round educational outreach to complement the show in the park. Actors from the show go into the schools during the year so that kids will recognize them when they come to the play.

Every night in the park, there is also an education tent for the young audience with a number of free activities. The youngsters mill around the tent and pick a good Shakespeare name for themselves.

"Lady Macbeth is really popular but I have to say that Dr. Butts (from Henry VIII) is a real winner with the 10-year-old-boy- set," Kelly reports.

Kids are also treated to a short version of the play at 6:30 p.m., created by the apprentice company of local actors in high school and college.

"Our goal is to give as many kids a possible a wonderful experience with Shakespeare," says Bryan, "Around here, it just wouldn't be summer without Shakespeare on the Sound!"

For more information on all the summer camps and this summer's production go to www.shakespeareonthesound.org.

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