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Curtain rising on Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s new stage

If Shakespeare was right, and all the world’s a stage, Buffalo is about to see a whole new world.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park, the free summer festival founded in 1976, is breaking ground May 12 for the new stage installation. The installation begins May 16.

The new stage, the result of a $1.2 million fund-raising campaign, is designed to feature better sight lines and improved sound and lighting. It promises to be a big improvement over the old stage, which was purchased in 1993 with a $300,000 city grant from then-Mayor James D. Griffin.

This anniversary season strikes a festive note, with two popular plays.

The season opens June 23 with “The Winter’s Tale,” running through July 17. The choice is significant because “The Winter’s Tale” was Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s very first production, in 1976. Directed by founder and artistic director Saul Elkin, it features Matt Witen, Patrick Moltane, Jenn Stafford, Lisa Vitrano and Tom Loughlin.

Next comes “The Taming of the Shrew,” the all-time favorite that inspired Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate.” “The Taming of the Shrew” runs July 28 through Aug. 21 and features Chris Hatch, Bonnie Jean Taylor, Rolando Gomez and Norm Sham. The director is Steve Vaughan.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park reaches more than 40,000 audience members each season and is one of the largest free outdoor Shakespeare festivals in the country. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. daily except Mondays on Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park, next to Hoyt Lake behind the Rose Garden, off Lincoln Parkway near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

For more info, visit shakespeareindelawarepark.org or call 856-4533.

email: mkunz@buffnews.com