(Last UPDATED 7/5/2021) Description and review of the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, held each year in the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre located in William Land Park. NEW: See “Updates” below.
This year the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival marked a milestone – its 32nd season in Land Park! This year the two alternating plays presented during July were The Comedy of Errors and All’s Well That Ends Well.
A friend and I attended The Comedy of Errors on a Thursday towards the end of July. The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. When one set of twins (Antipholus the master and Dromio the servant) travels to the home town of their twin brothers (likewise named Antipholus and Dromio), the two encounter friends and family of their twins leading to a series of mishaps based on mistaken identities.
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This was the first time that my friend had attended the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. The Festival, held in the William A. Carroll Amphitheater in William Land Park, is produced each year by City Theatre at Sacramento City College.
I purchased tickets on-line and we arrived a few minutes before the gates were opened at 6:30 p.m. A line had already formed, but it was not very long and we were able to secure a prime spot in front of the stage. As a general rule Thursday evenings are less crowded than Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Although there are (backless) wooden benches in the amphitheater, I have always preferred to take a blanket and low lawn chair and sit towards the front of the venue.
The performance started at 8:00 p.m., allowing us time to catch up and to enjoy the picnic we had brought. Wine, BBQ chicken, pasta salad and cookies for dessert – what more could one ask for?
It was a triple-digit day, but we were seated in the shade so we were relatively comfortable. Later in the evening as it cooled down we enjoyed a light breeze. The evenings in Sacramento during July vary – there have been times in years past when I packed, and was glad to have, a jacket to ward off the chill while attending the Festival.
This year I packed – just in case – mosquito repellent, but luckily it was not needed.
We enjoyed the play, which was performed with great enthusiasm. Twice during the performance a flock of geese flew honking overhead – but the performers did not miss a beat.
I commented to my friend that the geese reminded me of performances at B Street Theatre – when a train on the track in back of the building blew its horn as it passed by during a performance.
In 2018, the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival will be performing Treasure Island and The Tempest. I hope to go see at least one of the plays – if not both.
See related blog post: Sacramento Shakespeare Festival Opens
(7/5/2021) The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival has been postponed until the Summer of 2022 due to COVID-19. Being offered this year instead are:
- Hamlet (live streamed from the Courtyard) on July 8, 9,10,15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.
- Shakespeare Sideshows (staged readings online) July 11, 18 and 25. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.
For Tickets and other information go to sacramentoshakespear.net
(6/5/2019) The 2019 Sacramento Shakespeare Festival will be held in the Main Auditorium of Sacramento City Collage (3835 Freeport Blvd., PAC 15). The change in location is temporary – the Land Park Amphitheater is undergoing renovations.
Playing this summer are Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
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