The Gamut Theatre Group of Harrisburg cast and crew arrived at Riverside Park at 5:30 p.m., bringing sets, costumes, props, sound equipment for the Founders Day 7 p.m. performance of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” So did some early bird theatre patrons who wanted to get the best seat in the open-air theatre, bringing their own chairs and picnic dinner. And then the show of Gamut Theatre artistry began. Each of the seven cast and crew members went to work to install the scenery and props, set up the sound equipment, and practice the fight scenes.
I love to be there early for these performances to witness this preparation, the “play preceding the play,” a performance in itself. The pavilion at Riverside Park becomes transformed into a setting in ancient Rome with masked puppets to become part of the crowd scenes. Seven actors who just transformed the stage now changed into costumes become Julius Caesar, Brutus, Mark Antony, and other characters. And the magic was about to begin for the 150 people who have carried their chairs to sit in front of the stage at the pavilion as the sun began to go down along the Susquehanna River.
Thank you Lori and Jerry Bogadin for making sure the park was so beautifully landscaped for the event. Thank you Overlook Estate Foundation for your sponsorship of this performance. The Wyoming County Cultural Center at the Dietrich Theater is so proud to continue our 11-year tradition of bringing Shakespeare in the the Park to Tunkhannock.
What is coming up that you need to know? First of all, 12 to 18-year-olds are invited to join All Star Players Mondays through Fridays, July 8-19, free and sponsored by Toni Hockman and Sarah Sidorek. This is a chance to be part of the cast and crew of a play directed by Brenda Fager. Learn all the aspects — acting, costume design, lighting, set design, makeup and more. This year Jim O’Hora of Taney’s Costume Shop in Scranton will give a special makeup lesson. It is not too late to register by calling 570-996-1500.
You also need to know that Close Encounters with Birds of Prey on Saturday, July 6 at 11 a.m. is free and is a wonderful way see an eagle, a peregrine falcon, and maybe a saw whet owl. Bill Streeter of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center is a wonderful advocate for the raptors with so much information and so many captivating stories. Free tickets will be available at the door as long as they last or call us to reserve yours.
Have you made your reservation for Summer Fest Opening Night on Friday, July 12? Just $25 for a night of two movies, – “Tomorrow Man” and “Mustang.” Beer and wine from Nimble Hill and light snacks before the movies and strawberry shortcake between the movies. Make your reservation by calling us ASAP. This is the most fun night of the summer.
Shakespeare in the Park at Riverside Park is over, but a theatre experience is still open for your teens. And Close Encounter with Birds of Prey is really good theatre. The characters this time are birds. All here at the Dietrich – just waiting for you.
Brutus in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar,’ wooing the crowd, portrayed by masked puppets, after Julius Caesar was brutally murdered. Shakespeare in the Park is produced by Gamut Theatre Group of Harrisburg.
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