“The course of true love never did run smooth.” But professional companies, community theatre, regional artists, musicians and many more are working together to make it so, as Festival! Stratford returns for a 6th year August 11-14 and 18-21.  The 11 day festival will be held rain or shine on the grounds of The American Shakespeare Festival Theatre at 1850 Elm Street in Stratford. This event is sponsored in part by: The Stratford Arts Commission, Timex Group USA, Shakesperience Productions, Inc., the Stratford Junior Women’s Club, and Tech Theatrical Services.

   Between shows, attendees have a chance to peruse the artists’ showcase or enjoy food from local vendors under beautiful skies gazing down upon the scenic Housatonic River.  Also, this year, for the first time since the late 1980′s, the American Shakespeare Festival Theatre building itself will be open to the public to tour and reminisce about the historic and beloved theater which has displayed the likes of Katherine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, Christopher Walken, and Christopher Plummer.

   After the success of last year’s Henry V, Shakesperience Productions returns to headline the festival with A Midsummer Night’s Dream on August 13 and 20 at 8pm. Shakesperience will also offer a week long theater camp August 15-19 for ages 7-17 from 9am-3pm where students work and learn as an ensemble to use the Shakesperience Approach in the creation of a performance of scenes from Henry V.  The August 21st performance will be shared with family, friends, and the audience of Festival! Stratford 2011.  Other events taking place include performances from New Jersey’s Hudson Shakespeare Company, The Players from Putney Gardens, the Sister Cities Choir, Stratford SquareWrights, Bridgeport Theatre Company, Eastbound Theatre and many more.  The festival will also include two “Children’s Day” performances geared for families on Sunday, August 14th and 21st. This will include strolling magic, musical acts and more.

   For more information on Festival! Stratford performances, the Theatre Camp, on sponsorship, advertising, vendor and volunteer opportunities, go to www.shakesperience.org, www.festivalstratford.org or email festivalstratfordct@gmail.com. If calling, in the Waterbury area, please contact Shakesperience at 203-754-2531.  For those located in or around Stratford, call 203-394-2751.

Shakesperience Offers Scholarships for Acting Classes in Stratford

   Shakesperience Productions, Inc. is pleased to announce Theatre Camp for students age 7-17 on the grounds of the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT.  Two students will be offered scholarships to attend the classes at no charge, thanks to a donation from the Stratford Junior Women’s Club.

   This summer’s Theatre Camp will be Shakespeare in Performance 301: Henry V, and will coincide with this year’s Festival!Stratford.  In all classes, students explore various acting techniques and styles using the Shakesperience Approach.  Taught by Shakesperience’s professional Resident Artists, each class will focus on creating action through language while developing a positive ensemble.  Camp will run from 9-3, August 15-19, and will culminate in a presentation of scenes from Henry V to be shared with family, friends, and festival-goers on Sunday, August 21st.

   Shakesperience is returning for a third year of Festival!Stratford on the grounds of the Shakespeare Festival Theater, this time with the comedy favorite, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The cast of the company’s most veteran professionals and special guest artists will materialize to portray Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity, of good intentions gone awry, of mystical forces and their effects on mortal life, and of love won and lost and won again.  Artistic Director Emily Mattina balances this production in the mysterious territory between dreams and reality.  The production cross-fades through the confining order and structure of the Athenian court, the lawlessness of the forest, and the disconcerting randomness of the dream state.  In true Shakesperience fashion, the audience for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is included in the magic as an essential player in our scenes.

   For more information on scholarships, tuition, or registration please visit www.shakesperience.org.  In the Waterbury area, please contact Shakesperience at 203-754-2531.  For those located in or around Stratford, call 203-394-2751.

   SJW is a volunteer organization of women of all ages who donate their time and financial and moral support for the betterment of their community. They are a part of the larger, state-wide organization, Connecticut Junior Women (CJW). Visit our website at www.stratfordjuniors.org for more information about the club.

Shakesperience is a professional theater company located in Connecticut that reaches a Northeast audience of adults and students alike with School and Public Theatre Tours, Saturday and Private Acting Classes, Summer Camps, Residencies, and outdoor and in-studio performances.  To find information on these programs visit the Shakesperience web site, or find us on Facebook.