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Break out the Blankets! Theatre’s coming to the Parks.

By Chrissy Steinbock on July 2, 2015

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Ah, summer in the city and the event listings are bursting with an embarrassment of riches. In the coming weeks there is not one but three theatre shows playing in the parks.

We’ve rounded up the details for you in this handy list.

A Company of Fools brings Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors to a park near you.

The Fools, who are turning 25 this year have made a name for themselves by breathing new life into Shakespeare with their very funny physical theatre combining elements of slapstick, vaudeville, clown and commedia dell’arte. From what I saw at the preview this show is going to be really fun – lots of slapstick silliness and bright whimsical colours.

When: July 2-August 15 Mondays-Saturdays 7pm showtime

Where: Parks in and around Ottawa.

What to expect: The Comedy of Errors is a comedy where two sets of identical twins separated at birth and unknown to each other find themselves in the same place at the same time. As one set of twins from out of town meets the family and friends of the other set mistaken identities and comic mishaps abound.

Admission: Pass the hat PWYC, suggested donation $15/person

I had the chance to attend a sneak preview of the show and speak with director Catriona Leger. In the clip Catriona tells us about the play, how the Fools make Shakespeare accessible and the inspiration behind the colourful set and costumes.

Bear & Co. is touring Shakespeare’s The Tempest through city parks.

Zoe Georgaras as Ariel in The Tempest. Photo courtesy of Bear & Co.

Zoe Georgaras as Ariel in The Tempest. Photo courtesy of Bear & Co.

Eleanor Crowder directs a cast of seven in a “rough and tumble” performance of Shakespeare’s final play featuring music from the Renaissance-era arranged by Rachel Eugster and fire dancing by Zoe Georgaras.  Bonus: You’re invited to bring water guns to spray the actors in the storm scene.

When: July 3-26  7pm showtime

Where: Parks throughout Ottawa. Click here for the schedule.

What to Expect: Alexis Scott who plays multiple roles in the show explains The Tempest is a revenge comedy which begins when a shipwrecked court of Italian royalty wash up on the shore of an unknown island. Amidst their squabbling and plotting against each other, they start to learn more about the island and discover they may be in over their heads because inexplicable things start to happen – is it magic? Who inhabits this island? They are about to find out, and some of them won’t be pleased.” Think of it as Shakespearean take on Lost.

Admission: Suggested donation $20

Odyssey Theatre is back in Strathcona Park with Theatre under the Stars

Where: Strathcona Park

Odyssey Theatre's production of The Financier, performed last year. Photo by Glendon Hartle.

Odyssey Theatre’s production of The Financier, performed last year. Photo by Glendon Hartle.

What to expect: Laurie Stevens directs a cast of nine actors in Things we do for love, featuring Saving Melisandra! Based on a chapter of Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden by Federico Garcia Lorca and Whether you like it or not by Tirso de Molina

Tickets: General Admin tickets are $25 and are available in advance and at the door. A picnic & show package is also available in association with Le Cordon Bleu.

There it is – three great shows and three more ways to savour the season.
See you in the park!

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