RiverStage Community Theatre plans two Shakespeare shows

LEWISBURG — To be or not to be. At a RiverStage production, that is the question!

RiverStage Community Theater and Gaspipe Theatre Company have apparently dubbed August as the month of The Bard, as two attractions focusing on William Shakespeare will be staged.

As an unique bonus, youngsters and adults alike can enjoy one or both productions free of charge, one which pokes fun at the Bard, while the other is one of Shakespeare’s classic tragedies.

“I Hate Shakespeare” — Performed by the students of RiverStage Summer Theater Academy, this comedy will be presented at 7 p.m. on Aug. 3 and 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Greenspace Center, 815 Market St.

Penned by Steph DeFerie, “I Hate Shakespeare” is billed as a hilarious “rip-roaring rundown” of Shakespeare’s famous works with young audiences in mind. The fast-paced production is filled with zombies, talking animals, hyperactive talk show hosts, and other modern twists.

“I Hate Shakespeare” is co-directed by Maggie Able and Kimberly Eaton.

“If you like Shakespeare, or even if your teacher made you read it, and you hated Shakespeare, you will get lots of laughs out of this show,” says Able. “And it’s something that the whole family can enjoy”.

“Macbeth” — Shakespeare’s famous tragedy follows a notorious husband and wife planning to seize power for themselves in 1623 Scotland.

When the brave general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches and spurred on by his wife, he murders the King and assumes the throne for himself. A civil war erupts with more murders leading to a gripping conclusion.

The Gaspipe Theatre Company offers free 7 p.m. performances of “Macbeth” at the following outdoor venues: Aug. 10 at the Sunbury Amphitheatre, 135 S. Front St.; Aug. 11 at the Milton Public Library, 541 Broadway St.; and Aug. 12 at Hufnagle Park, located at Fifth and St. Louis Sts.

The cast, consisting of actors of all ages from throughout the area is headed by Brad Heffner as Macbeth and Kahlie DeHotman as Lady Macbeth.

“Macbeth” is directed by Andrew Shaffer who notes that, “This is the 19th year of doing free outdoor productions of ‘Shakespeare In the Park,’ and this is one of our favorite shows as it’s got the elements of fantasy with ghosts and witches, but the tension between the characters also makes it feel very realistic and very modern day.”

Although both the kids’ comedy “I Hate Shakespeare” and the outdoor productions of “Macbeth” are free, donations are suggested and readily accepted.

RiverStage was founded in 2003 as a non-profit group of artists committed to bring top notch community theater to the Greater Susquehanna Valley.

For more information call 570-989-0848 or visit riverstagetheatre.org.