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Norwalk Shakespeare Troupe Expands Apprentice Focus

Mary Robinson will direct Shakespeare on the Sounds production of "All's Well That Ends Well."
Mary Robinson will direct Shakespeare on the Sounds production of "All's Well That Ends Well." Photo Credit: www.shakespeareonthesound.org

NORWALK, CONN. -- Shakespeare on the Sound’s production of “All’s Well That Ends Well” June 11-28 is the centerpiece of the theater’s 20th anniversary season, which is aiming to offer broader exposure for apprentices and an expanded dimension to the educational activities in Pinkney Park.

Mary Robinson is directing “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

“Budding Bards” is the name given to the selection of original one-act plays to be presented by the 16-member company of apprentices on the main stage in the park at 5 p.m. June 26 before the curtain for “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

The last two seasons, the theatrical trainees have created original work -- from writing and direction through performance. But the stage readings were done off-site, and the audience was limited to family and friends, never a full, live audience.

Claire Kelly, Shakespeare on the Sound’s director of education and artistic associate, said, “Some of the work generated by the apprentices is outstanding, and this year we wanted to share it with the general public.”

At the same time, the Education Tent in the park is being transformed into an interactive destination — a kind of minicamp — for the children, ages 5-13, starting at 4:30 p.m. and continuing through 7:15 p.m. for the run of the play.

Ashley Malafronte, of Guilford, an education apprentice, oversees the initiative. In addition to the coloring book activities and picking names from Shakespeare’s inimitable from years past, the apprentices intend to introduce games and other activities.

The concept calls for children younger than 6 to be supervised by parents and those older to be accompanied by a parent in the park.

Returning for another season is the popular Kids Pre-Show, a half-hour retelling of a main play to unfold nightly at 6:30 p.m. behind the Education Tent.

Three members of this season’s ensemble of apprentices — Max Kenyon, Kate Murphy and John Lewis — are from Darien, and two more — Alice Bloomer and Kyra Baldwin — are from Greenwich.

Admission is free and so is parking nearby. Donations are collected at the gate, $20 suggested for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Reserved seating is available for $50. To reserve, visit www.shakespeareonthesound.org or call 203-299-1300.

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