Woodward Shakespeare Festival’s 2019 Season Opens This Week!

May 1, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Theatre

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Another season of the Woodward Shakespeare Festival is almost upon us so we took a moment to chat with this season’s production manager Richard Adamson, who will also be directing this year’s production of Anthony and Cleopatra.

KRL: What is your background in theatre? Have you performed with the festival in the past?

Richard: After receiving a BA in Voice from Pepperdine University, I went on to study in Germany where I received a graduate degree in musical theater direction. I am a member of Actors Equity and have worked at every level of theater from local community (Visalia Players in the Ice House) to the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. I have been a performer director and designer. Recently I have served as Technical Director and Resident Set Designer of Opera San Luis Obispo, Resident Stage Director and Technical Director of the California Opera Association in Fresno, Technical Director of Opera Modesto, and Technical Director of the Golden Gate Opera in Marin. I have performed with the Woodward Shakespeare Festival since 2015, portraying Julius Caesar, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Prospero in The Tempest, among other roles.

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Othello (LaVon Jean-Pierre) and Desdemona (Alexis Macedo) from the 2018 production by Woodward Shakespeare Festival

KRL: What shows will you be presenting this year?

Richard: The Comedy of Errors, Richard II, Anthony and Cleopatra and our Youth YES Project.

KRL: Why did you choose those shows?

Richard: The Board tries to have a mixture of comedy, tragedy and the historical dramas. They wanted to have a mix of the more familiar pieces, which have already been produced by WSF, and some of the lesser known works.

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Rehearsal photo for “Comedy of Errors”

KRL: I understand you are going to be doing one of the shows at Severance, how and why did that come about?

Richard: The middle of summer is a hard sell for our audience and cast, trying to perform outdoors in triple digit weather. We also wanted to have the opportunity to present more intimate productions in a venue that was comfortable, even when the weather outside was not.

KRL: Is there anything else different this year?

Richard: We are very excited to have Ellicia Elliot, the Artistic Director of The Rude Mechanicals Shakespeare Company in Washington State as our guest director for The Comedy of Errors.

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Rehearsal photo for “Comedy of Errors”

KRL: Dates, times, locations and if there is any cost for this year’s shows?


The Comedy of Errors, May 2,3,9,10,11,16,17,18
All performance at 8 p.m.
Woodward Park
Free Admission

Richard II, July 5,6,7,12,13,14,19,20,21
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Cal Arts Severance Building, 1401 N Wishon Ave, Fresno
$10 suggested donation

The YES! Project (Youth Engage Shakespeare), July 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Woodward Park
Free admission

Anthony and Cleopatra
, September 19,20,21,26,27,28, October 3,4,5
All performances at 8 p.m.
Woodward Park
Free admission

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Richard: Woodward Shakespeare is always looking for more actors, technicians and general volunteers to help us in our mission to provide free Shakespeare to our Fresno audience.

You can learn more on their website.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. The first 18 episodes are now up! You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


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