When the Clarence Brown Conference Center was built in 2010, an outside amphitheater was constructed with just such days in mind.
Local theater company StageWorks Inc. was approached this year to help the conference center take advantage of the summer to offer the community a bit of Shakespeare in a unique environment, said Morgan Brooks with StageWorks.
Second Saturday Shakespeare is being performed each month throughout the summer and McCrary, the series’ director said it a different approach to appreciating the English writer.
“People love the opportunity to enjoy some outdoor theater and refreshments because it’s something different,” Brooks said. “It really feels like an event, rather than just a play.”
Brooks said time constraints forced the theater company to be creative with the series.
“We knew we wouldn’t be able to rehearse and produce three full-scale Shakespeare plays with only a month between them, so we decided to go with a kind of ‘greatest hits’ approach,” Brooks said. “Each show features scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, all dealing with a particular theme.”
The series kicked off in June with a love theme, covering Shakespeare’s most popular romances. It continues Saturday at 7 p.m. with the theme of heroes and villains.
The cast includes Mike Davis, Kip Henderson, Tony Thomasson, Robert Trammell, Mallory Holder, Meghann Humphreys, Parris Sarter, Corinne Scott, Karen Ruetz and Ginny Slifcak.
“We see the best and worst of Shakespeare’s characters,” Brooks said.
She said the theater company will be doing scenes from “Macbeth,” “ Henry V,” “ King Lear,” “Othello,” “Richard III” and “Hamlet.”
“We’re hoping it’s a good mix of stories people are familiar with, and some new ones they might find interesting,” Brooks said. “Because we are seeing the best and worst of these characters, there is some swordplay and mild violence in this one that I would like to advise parents about, but it’s nothing extreme.”
Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
Brooks said there are several elements that make Second Saturday Shakespeare a great summertime event.
Brooks said, “The venue is great. There is catering offered, but you can also bring your own refreshments so it can be as fancy or as family-friendly as you decide. The price is nice, too because we wanted to keep it affordable for that reason.”