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Woodward Shakespeare Festival

by Terrance Mc Arthur



The Two Gentlemen of Verona isn’t the biggest and flashiest Shakespeare play, but it’s probably one of his first. The training wheels were still on, and he was learning to use some of the plot devices he would master in later plays. It’s a simple story, one you might see on a TV sitcom, and the Woodward Shakespeare Festival has given a bright, peppy, 50s look wrapped up in early rock-and-roll tunes that hearkens back to reruns of Happy Days.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


Kayla Weber’s set on The Festival Stage in Woodward Park looks like the metaphorical attic of the Woodward Shakespeare Festival, littered with bits and pieces of past productions: toppled columns from Julius Caesar, plywood trees, chunks of Macbeth, ironwork from A Streetcar Named Desire. The black set is embellished with rows of gold-stenciled designs, and a red band of paint next to the stage floor looks like dried blood that has seeped from behind the scenery. This is the world of the Greg Taber and Broderic Beard directed production of Richard III the WSF is presenting through July 11.

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by Joshua Ryan Taylor



For eleven years, this group has managed to bring free theatre to the public. They’ve battled weather, the park, and the ultimate artistic challenge – Shakespeare. Through three separate performance spaces, they have put on 24 main-stage productions, and are about to open three more.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


Due to a crazy summer, it has been awhile since we’ve had a local actor or director profile, so this time we have someone who does pretty much everything–Greg Taber is both an actor and director, along with being a major force behind the Woodward Shakespeare Festival, and running his own theatre company.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s last major plays, and one of my favorites (I have some vague childhood memories of the 1960 TV version with Maurice Evans, Richard Burton, Lee Remick, Roddy McDowall, and Tom Poston—my first introduction to the works of William Shakespeare). This is the final production of the Woodward Shakespeare Festival’s tenth season.

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


Introducing one of the most fascinating Shakespeare characters you’ve probably never heard of–Christopher Sly. He’s a scoundrel, a drunk and dominates the beginning of The Taming of the Shrew, but he doesn’t appear in most productions (You won’t find him in the Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor film version or the musical Kiss Me, Kate, which is built on the play). Well, the Woodward Shakespeare Festival production isn’t like most productions. Christopher Sly is back!

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by Terrance Mc Arthur


It comes across a black expanse fissured with jagged cracks of blood red, peopled with refugees from a Halloween Haunt and a martial arts studio. It is a violent, unsettling version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the first play in the Woodward Shakespeare Festival’s tenth season in Fresno’s Woodward Park.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham



The Woodward Shakespeare Festival in Fresno is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. We took some time to chat with Greg Taber, the Festival’s executive producer, about this summer’s season and their anniversary.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham



Every summer since KRL began we have written about and supported the Woodward Shakespeare Festival. This fall we had the chance to chat with Greg Taber, the executive director of WSF, about their off season events. We also got a preview of next summer’s season!

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by Terrance Mc Arthur



The Woodward Shakespeare Festival presented Midsummer in the Rotary Amphitheatre during its second season, and it has staged a new production of the Shakespeare play to open its ninth season. I have a fondness for the show, since I had a non-major part in the 2006 staging. This year, director Aaron Spjute has a different vision.

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by Lorie Lewis Ham


This week for our Local Live we are chatting with Greg Taber, the Executive Producer of the Woodward Shakespeare Festival in Fresno, which begins their 2013 season this weekend!

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