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Shakespearean actors perform for rural audiences


With an abundance of outdoor activities to do this summer in urban and suburban areas, a troupe of actors is bringing the works of Shakespeare to rural communities.

Credit shakeonthelake.org

Shake on the Lake is a six-person theater troupe based in Silver Lake, New York. This summer they have performed free shows throughout Western New York. Dr. Pilar McKay is co-founder of Shake on the Lake. She talked about the play being performed and how they manage with such a small cast.

“We’re doing Richard the III this year, with 6 actors and something that we’ve learned in role-based arts is that we create art with the resources we have. We have great natural resources, I mean there is nothing like seeing live theater in an open space, with a big blue sky.”

McKay also stressed the importance of playing in front of rural audiences.

“We’d like to expand into the farm-based programming. We really want to create a really authentic and excellent agro-tourism and arts partnership. Because we know how important it is to bring people to the farms for out agricultural community, and the way we can contribute is by bringing high quality theater.”

Shake on the Lake performs all over Western New York in towns such as Brockport, Geneseo, and Dansville. McKay talked about her plans moving forward.

“Hopefully expanding the tour eastward. We would like to be in Niagara…we’ve been in Niagara County before. We’d like to be there again. We want to go to Chautauqua County. But we’re also trying to expand our year-round programming. So we already do education and we would like to expand into more rural schools.”

Further down the line McKay would like Shake on the Lake to have its own auditorium. The troupe plays in Rochester this evening and they are running shows through August 11th.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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