Shakespeare Festival Comes to the PACE Center Next Month

Shakespeare Festival Comes to the PACE Center Next MonthHoist thine noble banner and may ye heralding trumpets sound! On Wednesday, May 10th, 2017, Parker Arts will present its first annual Shakespeare Festival, a theatrical competition for Parker middle schools and high schools. Students from participating schools will perform a scene or portion of a scene from a Shakespeare play or soliloquy of their choosing and be evaluated by a team of judges. The six highest scoring performances will get the honor of performing on the PACE Center Main Stage and will receive the Bard's Prize for the 2017 Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival.

Over 101 students from Parker-area schools are participating in this pilot-program at Parker Arts. "We are thrilled with our total of 40 group and soliloquy performances in our first year of the Festival," said Education Manager Kirstin Fletcher. "We wanted to test this program with a manageable student participation number, and ensure there are ample stages throughout the venue for all the performances that need to take place within the short school-day." Parker Arts plans to continue the Festival each year, increasing participation and stage locations, to one day emulate the long-standing Denver Public School Shakespeare Festival, whose staff not only provided guidance in Parker Arts efforts, but are also participating as judges.

The first-time Festival has secured several judges from Metro-Denver theater companies, school districts, and Shakespeare gurus; some of which include Beau Augustin, Coordinator of DPS Shakespeare Festival and Member of the Colorado Thespian Society, Jeff Parker Assistant Professor, Metropolitan State University Department of Theatre, Charlotte Wanberg community theater director for Front Range Theatre Company and Colorado Youth Theater, and Laurilea McDaniel, Executive Director Front Range Theater Company and Theater Director Mountain Ridge Middle School in Highlands Ranch.

In addition to the acting competition, the event will also feature Student Buskers (street performers), "Shakespeare Haters Anonymous Play" by Zounds Theatre Company, a Sword Fighting Workshop, a Selfie Booth, and a scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performed by the Shakespeare in the Parking Lot cast (an educational theater troupe from the Denver Center for Performing Arts).

Parker Arts' mission in offering a Shakespeare Festival is to increase appreciation and understanding of Shakespeare's works, provide an opportunity for youth to perform, foster community creativity and engagement, and generate awareness of Parker Arts education and enrichment opportunities.

Learn more about Parker Arts and the Shakespeare Festival at ParkerArts.org.

A special thanks to those who have made the first Parker Arts Shakespeare Festival possible: Susan and Perry Willis, Berry Blendz, Douglas County Libraries, Firehouse Subs, Parker Theater Academy, Classic Acts, The Town of Parker, and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

ABOUT PARKER ARTS

PARKER ARTS encompasses the many facilities and events that the Town of Parker's Cultural Department oversees, including a wide variety of local, regional, national and international, cultural, arts, scientific and educational programming and rentals. The PACE Center is home to a 542-seat theater, 250-seat amphitheater, Bellco art gallery, event room, dance studio, culinary kitchen, and several classrooms. The historic Schoolhouse (formerly the Mainstreet Center) houses a cozy 200-seat theater, small art gallery, and vintage classrooms. The century-old Ruth Memorial Chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is the perfect setting for small wedding, church groups or quiet meetings. For more information about Parker Arts, visit www.ParkerArts.org.

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