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Shakespeare on the Sound Presents LET'S PLAY SHAKESPEARE Today

Shakespeare on the Sound reaches down through the centuries to introduce the enduring and timeless themes of The Bard in premiering the 2015 version of "Let's Play Shakespeare" Dec. 12 (today) at 3:30 p.m. in the Moose Room of the Rowayton Community Center (33 Highland Ave.).

The 50-minute production-to be followed by a question-and-answer opportunity-is an original and interactive theatrical work designed to give children from kindergarten to grade five an insight into Shakespeare-- but appealing to all ages. Admission is free, donations optional.

Claire Kelly of New Canaan, the artistic associate and education director of Shakespeare on the Sound, developed the presentation with Emily Bryan of Darien as a "fun-filled adventure" using 95 percent of Shakespeare's dialogue and vignettes from five of his plays.

In fact, the sweep of Shakespeare's lyrical scythe from comedy to tragedy unfolds onstage as the actors argue over which passages they should perform-and who gets the biggest part-- from a palate that shuffles iconic scenes from "Macbeth," "Henry V," "Much Ado About Nothing," "As You Like It" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The performers work with props extracted from a trunk they bring onstage with them. All three are New York-based professionals who have all appeared in previous outdoor productions of Shakespeare on the Sound in Rowayton's Pinkney Park. They are Katie Wieland, Matthew Lynch and Daniel Levitt.

The playwrights, Kelly and Bryan, created an innovative format where youngsters from the audience are invited on-stage to warm up with the actors and to act in the performance, becoming, for example, part of Henry V's army. The play with its interactive dimension is also portable and available for presentation in schools and libraries.

This past year "Let's Play Shakespeare" toured Darien's elementary schools and was also performed at Riverside School in Greenwich.

Against the backdrop of rustling trees and the sounds of the seashore, Shakespeare on the Sound's 20th anniversary production-the selection is to be announced shortly-opens in June in Pinkney Park. A fundraising gala is set for April 18. Information about the activities of the theater is available by calling (2203) 299-1300 or on-line as shakespareonthesound.org.



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