P2K's ‘Shakespeare In The Park’ to add to July 4th festivities

Treston Mack (left) and Mitch Mitchell (right) rehearse in protective face masks for Playhouse 2000's annual Shakespeare In The Park production, presented this year on the lawn of the Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, Friday and Saturday, July 3-4 at 7:30 p.m.

For eight years, Kerrville's Community Theater, Playhouse 2000, has offered a free, outdoor play from the library of William Shakespeare.  Despite the problems cause by the Covid-19 pandemic, they'll do it again this year, with just a couple of changes.

Rather than being in Louise Hays Park on the first weekend in June, as originally planned, this year's offering, the tragedy of "King Lear," will be presented on the lawn of the Cailloux Theater on July 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The show is generously sponsored by the Community Foundation of the Hill Country.

Health concerns made rehearsing in a large group impossible, which meant that P2K could not prepare their show in time for their planned weekend at the beginning of June.  The all-volunteer cast and crew found just a single alternate weekend that was mutually available - the holiday weekend including July 4.

Because Louise Hays Park will be  filled with the annual "Fourth On The River" celebration that weekend, the company will offer their show on the lawn of the Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, as they did during the park's re-construction a few years ago.

The performance is still free to enjoy, and lawn seating will be offered with proper social distances encouraged.  And, in a unique addition design to maximize the audience's comfort, the entire show will be "broadcast" so that cars parked in The Cailloux Theater parking lot will be able to tune in on their radios.

With showtime beginning at 7:30 p.m., the final curtain will fall in time for the Saturday audience to enjoy the fireworks display which caps the July 4th celebration in the park.

It is an odd coincidence that "King Lear" was written during the time of the Plague in England, when Shakespeare's Globe Theater had been closed.  It was the first play presented when the theater re-opened.

A far-ranging tale of power and intrigue, "King Lear" is considered among the finest of Shakespeare's plays.  The P2K production features a highly dedicated and talented cast drawn from across the Hill Country under the direction of Jessica Sturm, a P2K veteran and theater teacher at Tivy High School.

"King Lear" will be presented on the lawn next door to the Cailloux Theater, at 910 Main St. in downtown Kerrville, on Friday and Saturday, July 3-4 at 7:30 p.m.  There is no admission charge, though contributions will be requested.

In addition to being Kerrville's Community Theater, Playhouse 2000 manages, on behalf of the City of Kerrville, the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, including the Cailloux Theater and the VK Garage Theater.  

For more information, including details on volunteering with or auditioning for P2K, readers can visit www.playhouse2000.com.

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