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Shakespeare in Delaware Park prepares for 39th season!

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
Preparing for teh 39th season of Shakespeare at Delaware Park

Preparations for a brand new season of Shakespeare in Delaware Parkwere underway Tuesday night. Actors were on stage preparing to open Shakespeare's Henry V in eight days and soon another summer of free theater will be underway in Buffalo.

Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
Preparations underway for the 39th season of Shakespeare in Delaware Park in Buffalo.

"Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act." Those were the words of actor Tim Newell as Chorus introduces this tale of the redeemed warrior king and one of England's greatest military victories at Agincourt.

Across four-decades, this long tale of high-life and low, war and death has only been done once before on Shakespeare Hill in a heavily edited version.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park founder and Artistic Director Saul Elkin said it was time for Harry the King to again stride across the stage in Delaware Park. Elkin said the play has been cut because its full length runs around four-and-a-half-hours

Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
Founder and Artistic Director Saul Elkin.

"I've cut out characters. I've cut out scenes. It's a very episodic play. So, one has to be cautious. There's a story to be told and it has to be told in the right sequence. But, Shakespeare indulged himself a little bit in a lot of these speeches that go on for ever and ever," said Elkin.

Elkin noted the annual festival is doing fairly well financially, although that always depends on the crowds coming on nice days and leaving cash behind during the intermission.

Henry V will be performed June 19 through July 13.  The Comedy of Errors is scheduled to open July 24.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.