Arts and Entertainment

Acting troupe brings Shakespeare to Arlington

ARLINGTON — Despite the light rain and occasional rumbles of thunder, about 50 Arlington residents turned out to catch the second production of Shakespeare in the Park at Arlington’s Terrace Park.

The cast of 13 staged a comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew,” for their July 25 performance, a plot made more familiar than other Shakespearean works thanks to recent movie remakes of the story. But for production coordinator Stephanie Hagarty, who also played Vincentio/Curtis, it’s the uniqueness and quality of Shakespeare’s works that have held up over time.

“You sit and read it and every once in awhile, you say, ‘Man, this is good,’” Hagarty said, adding that the characters required little extra development with so much personality written into the roles. “Everything you need is handed to you.”

Cast member Jay Rairigh, who played the part of Hortensio, is a self-described medieval enthusiast and helped coordinate the staged fights “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Hagarty said she finds Shakespeare easier to memorize, but ultimately started performing his works in 1981 — she joined Last Leaf Productions two years ago, which puts on Shakespeare in the Park in Arlington each summer — because of the history involved.

“I once read this article where someone said that when you go on stage and say those words, it echoes with everyone who said the words before,” she said.

She and the cast tour around the region, with multiple performances of “The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor” taking place this summer. The troupe already performed “The Merry Wives of Windsor” in Arlington earlier this summer, but have additional dates around the region on the Last Leaf website www.lastleaf99.org.

Additionally, the production company has a touring children’s program which performs fairy tales and children’s stories. They also feature a murder mystery dinner theater show, which will be coming to the Pacific Rim Supper Club in Marysville Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. The show will be “Murder at the All-Year Reunion of All-American High.”

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