Merced County Times Newspaper
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New virtual event: ‘Passion for Shakespeare’

David Hambley is one of the local stage stars featued in ‘Passion for Shakespeare.’
David Hambley is one of the local stage stars featued in ‘Passion for Shakespeare.’

In this new year of 2021 the local Shakespeare Festival will be celebrating its 20th season.

This season will look different, but local thespians have learned a lot over the past year by filming the “Ricardo/Richard” episodes and recording The Tempest as a radio play.

The first virtual event of 2021 will be “Passion for Shakespeare” — a collage of Shakespeare monologues and scenes.

Directed by Heike Hambley and Shawn Overton, and filmed by Shawn Overton, it is a showcase of seven excellent Shakespearian actors: Jim Bennett, Colton Dennis, Alejandro Gutierrez, David Hambley, Greg Ruelas, Krista Joy Serpa, and Traci Sprague.

Some of these actors have been with Merced Shakes for many years, others have worked with the troupe just a few times, but all have that love and passion for Shakespeare’s words.

All of them chose their own parts, their monologues or scenes, and the directors just helped and supported them. The filming happened with strict health protocols at the MAC, the Merced Arts Center, where the last Shakespeare theater event, “King Lear”, was staged a year ago.

Excerpts of interviews with the actors – enlightening, funny and heartwarming – round off this theatrical offering.

“Passion for Shakespeare” is FREE, on-line through the Merced Shakespearefest Facebook Page or YouTube. It will premiere on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7 pm.

For more information go to www.mercedshakespearefest.org or call (209)723-3265.

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