, NY 14222-1211
Shakespeare in Delaware Park is pleased to announce our 37th Anniversary Season. Join us on the hill in 2012 for Richard the Third - June 21st – July 15th, directed by Saul Elkin. Then director Kyle LoConti will helm our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which will take the stage July 26th – August 19th.
Shakespeare in Delaware Park has been a Buffalo summer tradition since 1976. It is one of the country's most successful outdoor Shakespeare festivals in terms of audience, attracting an average of 40 to 50 thousand patrons each summer. New York City is nearby but this FREE festival is right in Western New Yorkers beautiful back yard.
Our spectacular performances take place in a historic park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of landscape architecture, and the nation's foremost park maker. Behind the Park's rose garden stands our grand Tudor-Style stage on a sweeping hill of green. In this beautiful setting under the stars where Shakespeare's stories live on to explore the truths of the human heart; tragedy, jealousy, foolishness, passion, laughter, and love.
2012 Upcoming Productions
Richard the Third
June 21st – July 15th Directed by Saul Elkin
After a long civil war between the Royal families of York and Lancaster, England enjoys a period of peace under King Edward IV. But Edward’s younger brother, Richard, resents Edward’s power and happiness. Angry, power hungry, and bitter over his own physical deformity, Richard plots to kill all those who stand between him and the throne.
He manipulates a noblewoman, Lady Anne, into marrying him even though she knows he has murdered her first husband. He plots to have his own older brother, Clarence, executed. When his brother King Edward, who has been ill, dies, Richard becomes Lord Protector of England in charge of Edward’s two young sons who are heirs to the throne. He imprisons the boys in the tower of London and in his bloodiest act, Richard sends hired assassins to kill the boys. Then, with the help of his right hand man, Lord Buckingham, he has himself crowned King of England.
Richard’s reign of terror produces a challenger to the throne, the Earl of Richmond, who is gathering forces in France. Meantime Richard has his wife, Queen Anne, murdered so that he can marry his niece, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of his late Brother King Edward and Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth, who has promised her daughter to Richmond, manages to hold Richard off.
Richmond invades England. The night before the decisive battle Richard has a nightmare in which he is confronted by those he has murdered. Richmond is victorious, is crowned King Henry VII, and is betrothed to young Elizabeth. Peace returns to England.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 26th – August 19th Directed by Kyle LoConti
Although in modern productions this play has often been set in many different times and places, Shakespeare set the play in Ancient Athens. Wherever it is set it is one of Shakespeare’s most delightful romantic comedies.
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is preparing to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. The preparations for the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of an angry father, Egeus, who has come to ask the Duke to intervene because his daughter Hermia will not marry his choice Demetrius because she in love with Lysander. The Duke warns Hermia that she must either obey her father or be sentenced to death, or to a life as a nun.
Hermia and Lysander decide to elope and escape Hermia’s cruel fate. They tell Hermia’s friend Helena of their plan and they run into the forest. Helena, who loves Demetrius, tells him the lovers have fled and he follows them into the forest followed by Helena. They are all promptly lost in what we discover is an enchanted forest ruled by Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the fairies. Oberon and Titania are quarreling over an Indian boy she will not give him. Oberon overhears Helena declare her love for Demetrius, who tells her he cannot love her because he loves Hermia. Oberon has his mischievous servant Puck find a magic flower whose juice sprinkled on the eyelids of a sleeper will make the sleeper fall in love with the first creature he sees when he awakens. Puck mistakenly sprinkles the juice on Lysander’s eyelids who, when he is awakened by Helena, falls in love with her and rejects Hermia…beginning a series of hilarious errors that are only resolved at the end of the play.
Meanwhile, a group of Athenian laborers are rehearsing a play in the forest that they hope to present at the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Puck overhears the rehearsal and plays a trick on them by giving Bottom, the star of the little play, an ass’s head which scares the others away. Bottom is lured to the sleeping Titania who Oberon has treated with the flower juice. She awakens and falls in love with the ass. Having had his little joke Oberon restores Titania’s sight and she and Oberon are reunited.
Puck removes the ass’s head and Bottom returns to Athens to rejoin his fellow actors who hear that their play, “The Tragic Love Story of Pyramus and Thisbe,” has been chosen to be performed at the wedding. Meanwhile Puck has sprinkled the “magic juice” on the eyes of the sleeping lovers who awake and all four are happily reunited.
The play ends with the laborers’ hilarious rendition of “Pyramus and Thisbe,” after which the four lovers agree to share the Duke’s wedding day and all exit happily together.