Shakespeare in the great outdoors
Eagan’s Caponi Art Park plays host June 24 to a staging of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’
The wooded beauty of Caponi Art Park in Eagan will serve as the backdrop this weekend to “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”
Cromulent Shakespeare Company, the Minneapolis-based theater group behind the production, describes “Merry Wives” as a “bawdy farce with colorful characters, silly comedy and audience participation.”
Though it’s set in Elizabethan England, audiences will have no trouble relating to the material, according to director Erin Caswell. It centers on courtship – suitors vying for the affections of a lovely, eligible maiden – and its humor is derived in part from the busybody matchmaking involved.
“Think of it as an Elizabethan ‘Real Housewives of Windsor,’ ” Caswell said.
The family-friendly performance will be at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24, in Caponi’s outdoor amphitheater, and guests are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs, and a picnic dinner.
The Shakespeare comedy is the latest in Caponi’s annual Summer Performance Series featuring regional theater, music and dance groups. The series continues July 8 with a concert by the Dakota Valley Summer Pops Orchestra.
A concert by the Minnesota Sinfonia, originally scheduled for Father’s Day but canceled because of rain, has been rescheduled for July 15. O’Shea Irish Dance and Music plays the Caponi amphitheater on July 22, followed by the Japanese taiko drumming of Mu Daiko on Aug. 5.
Admission to all the performances is free with a $5 suggested donation to support programs at the 60-acre nonprofit art park.
For families with younger kids, the art park also offers Family Fun Tuesdays, events held each week at 10 a.m. in Caponi’s sculpture garden.
Upcoming Family Fun Tuesdays programs include a puppet show by Open Eye Figure Theater (June 26), a raptor presentation by the Dodge Nature Center (July 3) and Mexican folk dance (July 10).
The full schedule for Caponi’s Summer Performance Series and Family Fun Tuesdays is at www.caponiartpark.org.