Review of Will In The Ville- Shakespeare Plays in Louisville
It has been argued that no one has made a bigger impact on modern English than William Shakespeare. Louisville hosts Shakespeare in the Park every summer, but this summer is going to be the summer of Will. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. is sending Shakespeare’s First Folio on a tour, and The Frazier History Museum is one of the stops. Because of this, there will be special Shakespeare programming throughout the city accompanying the special exhibit, which will take place November 10-December 10.
My family recently seized the opportunity to see Romeo and Juliet at Hounz Lane park near our neighborhood, part of the Will In The Ville programming that is traveling all over Louisville to bring Shakespeare to everyone. We brought blankets and camping chairs and sat right up front for the play, which was about an hour and a half long. The weather was perfect and there were maybe 50 people in attendance.
The first scene was the thumb biting scene, which I admit I have rehearsed with my kids. My oldest son’s eyes lit up when he realized he knew what they were talking about. It was the single most gratifying experience of my parenting life. There were also plenty of sword fights, which kept my boys interested and entertained. The actors kept the play moving, which was quite a feat since they were all playing multiple characters. The best part is the plays are free and open to the public thanks to sponsorship.
Take whatever you need to sit on in most cases, as well as your own water and snacks. Depending on the time of day you may need sunscreen or bug spray. Many parks have playgrounds if your kids start to lose interest, but most of the kids in the audience were mesmerized.
There will be many more opportunities to catch a play at a park near you before the opening of the regular Shakespeare in Central Park season, which starts June 1st. Click here for a full list of plays and other Shakespeare related activities. Parks include Tom Sawyer, Shawnee, Russell Lee, Big Four Station, Tyler Park, Sun Valley Park, Veteran’s Memorial Park, Story Avenue Park, and many others. There’s definitely Shakespeare happening somewhere in your general vicinity.