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Shakespeare in Yosemte - photo UC Merced

Earth Day Festival In Yosemite Includes Shakespeare

YOSEMITE – Join Park Rangers and many park partners in celebration of Earth Day, National Park Week, National Junior Ranger Day, and John Muir’s Birthday on Saturday, Apr. 21 in Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite National Park will be hosting the 2018 Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Valley Visitor Center in the Yosemite Village, complete with interactive booths, live music, special Junior Ranger Walks and more.

UC Merced has also partnered with Yosemite National Park and will be offering multiple free performances of “Shakespeare in Yosemite: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

They invite everyone to join them for a magical theatrical experience as they celebrate Earth Day Weekend with this year’s Shakespeare in Yosemite, a fully-staged, free, 90-minute production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

In this “Dream,” Hippolyta and Theseus head to Yosemite National Park to get married. When disagreements and passions lead the lovers and their friends to escape into the backwoods, they encounter a world of “fairies” bearing the names of Yosemite’s animals and plants, and a band of Yosemite employees like Snout the Wilderness Ranger who are rehearsing a play.

With whimsical costumes, lots of live music, many laughs, and an environmental message, this year’s production has something for park-goers of all ages. It’s a perfect introduction to the world of Shakespeare, and a great way to enhance a trip to the park.

The show is headlined by Lisa Wolpe, founder of Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, and also stars Connie Stetson, known to Park visitors for her performances as Sarah Hawkins in the Yosemite theatre; Devon Glover, AKA the Sonnet Man, an internationally-known hip hop Shakespeare artist; and Yosemite Ranger Jessica Rivas. Student and community actors from University of California, Merced, and across the Central Valley round out the cast.

The play has been adapted especially for its unique location by Shakespeare scholars Professor Katherine Steele Brokaw from UC Merced and Professor Paul Prescott from the University of Warwick.

Performance dates in Yosemite:

Friday, April 20
2.p.m. – Lower River Amphitheater
5:30 p.m. – Half Dome Village Amphitheater

Saturday, April 21
2 p.m. – Lower River Amphitheater
5:30 p.m. – Half Dome Village Amphitheater

Sunday, April 22: Earth Day
2 p.m. – Lower River Amphitheater

For more information on Yosemite National Park and the Earth Day Festival, visit https://www.nps.gov/yose.

For more information on UC Merced’s Shakespeare in Yosemite, visit https://www.ucmerced.edu/Shakespeare.

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