According to Shakespeare, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Today I played my part (well, one of my parts) by helping to construct the new outdoor stages for Waterville Valley’s “Theatre Under The Stars” – New Hampshire’s only professional outdoor classical theatre company. I joined a small group of hardy volunteers who worked in the freezing cold, pouring rain and gusting wind…and it was amazing! We were able to construct two stages – one outdoor (under the stars!) and one under a large tent that will be used for performances when Mother Nature isn’t being cooperative.
Theatre Under The Stars aka Shakespeare in the Valley kicks off its 2012 summer season on June 30.
The New York Times and Boston Globe praised the outdoor classical theatre company – the only New Hampshire theatre to receive a special Governor’s Commendation for its work with under-served populations and families. The company is known throughout northern New England as “the professional theatre with community at heart.”
Shakespeare in the Valley will debut the world premiere of a play written by a local grade schooler as part of its seventh summer season in Waterville Valley, which runs from June 30 through August 11.
The play is the brainchild of Waterville Valley Elementary School sixth grader, Ellie Knight. The story centers on a group of young girls trying to get into Shakespeare’s troupe during the Elizabethan age when women were forbidden from appearing on stage.
Knight participated in the theatre company’s Kids Camp and was the 2011 recipient of the Marc P. Decoteau Prize which is awarded each year to a Kids Camper in memory of Waterville Valley resident Marc Decoteau who grew up in the the- atre’s Kids Corps. Decoteau was serving in the Army when he was killed in Afghanistan at age 19. The prize is given to area youth to help foster specific artistic endeavors.
As winner of the Decoteau Prize, fledgling novelist Ellie Knight was matched with noted New York City-based author and playwright John Reed who mentored her through the creation of her as yet untitled piece.
Knight’s play will premiere on Saturday, Aug. 11 during the popular “Kid Camp Double Feature Night,” the culmination of a 7-week season of family fare theatre that includes six Main Stage evening shows, four different Sugar Coated Shakespeare Family Matinees where two person teams of professional actors weave an interactive 30-minute tapestry of Shakespeare and other celebrated classics, and a 2-week youth theatre day camp for kids age 5-17.
All Shakespeare in the Valley performances are offered at low or no cost (in most cases, admission is pay-what-you-can) in honor of Decoteau, who lost his life in service to the word “free.”
Pack a blanket or low camp chair, picnic and beverage and head to Waterville Valley’s Town Square on Saturday nights from June 30 through August 11 for world-class “bare bones bard at its best.” Our very own Shakespeare in the Valley theatre company helps put the “shake” back in Shakespeare.
For more information, visit shakespeareinthevalley.com or call 603- 726-0098.