Outdoor Shakespeare with “Shakes on the Lake”

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Shakespeare. A name known around the world for innovative plays and wondrous use of the English language. We’ve all heard of “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Tempest,” and “Hamlet.” Many of us are likely also familiar with Shakespeare’s comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” And familiar or not, all of us here in the Brazos Valley have a chance to view its spectacle as the aptly named outdoor Shakespeare performance troupe “Shakes on the Lake” brings this piece to beautiful Lake Atlas.

With five free performances at Lake Walk’s pavilion, July 29 and 30 and Aug. 5, 6 and 7, there are plenty of chances to see this story unfold live. Since the play is outside and runs from 8-10:30 p.m., the performance will have the fitting backdrop of Lake Atlas at sunset followed by the rise of the moon and stars. An especially fitting scene given that much of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” takes place outside at night.

Written in the 1590s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is about love and the hurdles we jump through to end up with the right person. As Duke Theseus and Amazonian Queen Hippolyta gear up for their upcoming wedding, Egeus, an Athenian nobleman, brings his daughter, Hermia, and two of her suitors into their court. Egeus is furious that Hermia wants to marry a suitor he deems less than fit and asks the duke what should be done. Hermia is given a timeline to conform to her father’s wishes or risk punishment, leading her to run away with her lover, Lysander, into the woods. At this point, chaos ensues as we’re introduced to love triangles, mischievous fairies, and love potions. Will these star-crossed lovers get the happy ending they deserve? Sure, you can look up the answer, but wouldn’t it be more fun to go watch it and see for yourself?

As with all of Lake Walk’s free shows, guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to make themselves comfortable as they enjoy the production. Outside food and drinks are allowed, so feel free to make it into a fun night time picnic with friends and loved ones! Don’t want to bring your own food? The Lake Walk complex has several places to get dinner or a drink before the show. Not to mention visitors can make reservations at the neighboring Stella Hotel for a home-away-from-home evening. So pull up a chair, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy this Shakespearian night out!

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