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Shakespeare for All Ages at Ballard Park

WESTPORT - Can a 14-year-old appreciate the humor in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"?

Fourteen-year-old Colleen Mulvey of Wilmington is a firm believer that Shakespeare is fun for all ages. "It's funny. It's very, very funny," says Colleen who plays Helena in the upcoming production, "but it's going to be difficult to act it in a way that will make it seem as funny as it actually is."

Colleen is one of the 10 young teens who are spending a good part of their summer in Westport's Ballard Park with adult directors Lindsay Pontius and Scott Gibbs having fun and learning how to put on a Shakespearean play, this year, "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The kids will be performing outdoors at Ballard Park in Westport on Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. (with a rain date of Sunday, Aug. 16 same time, same place).

Some of these kids have worked with this directing team before, others are brand new to the Shakespeare theatre that takes place annually at Ballard Park. Why are they here? Several of these young adults are already certain that they will be pursuing acting as a career path and think that studying and performing Shakespeare will help further them in this field.

Cassandra Smith of Upper Jay who will be portraying both Hippolyta and Titania in the production views this experience as a different and more advanced type of play than she has tried before and is confident that "it will pay off on my acting skills."

Paul Burdo, 16, of Elizabethtown, was in the troupe's production of "Romeo and Juliet" last year. He's back for more because he "enjoys the interaction with kids from different areas of Essex County."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is the 8th youth Shakespeare production that the team of Pontius and Gibbs has brought to Ballard Park.

The program is now under the umbrella of The Depot Theatre Apprentice Program. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.

For more information about the upcoming performance call 962-4449.

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