Opening weekend of Shakespeare in the Park 2014 is finally here! This year’s production, As You Like It, directed by NSF Artistic Director Denice Hicks, is inspired by the optimistic comedies of the 1930s, and set during the Great Depression. Over the next five weekends, we invite you to join the actors in our version of a “Tent City” (located in the heart of Nashville’s Centennial Park), where even in the toughest times, songs are sung, stories are told and there’s always time for a little buck dancing. Because even in the toughest times, love prevails.
In addition to our production of As You Like It at 7:30 p.m. (with a prelude at 7:20), we’re joined at the park every night by a variety of different food vendors and serenaded every evening at 6:30 p.m. by one of Nashville’s many talented performers. Know you want to come see As You Like It on this opening weekend (and we recommend it…there tends to be fewer people opening weekend which means better seats), but having trouble deciding which night? You can cater the night to your liking by checking out the Pre-Show entertainment AND Vendor schedules each week. Make the night everything you want it to be!
So, here’s what’s cooking this weekend:
Are you a former ApCo member? Join us Friday night, August 15th, at the park for our annual ApCo reunion! As You Like It will feature four former Apprentices: Emily Landham, Amanda Card, Allie Huff, and Jaye Phelps. Come join us for pre-show fun and games at Shakespeare in the Park while cheering them on. Email Education Director Nettie Kraft at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan on attending and will be bringing guests so we know how many blankets to put out for you.
This weekend, as with all upcoming weekends, we’ll be joined in the park by some wonderfully talented musicians. About half of our performers will at the park courtesy of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee at Fiddle & Pick in Pegram. Founded by music educator and Pegram resident Gretchen Priest-May, Fiddle & Pick is a place where people old and young can come to discover the joy found in making traditional music – mainly, but not limited to, music played on fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars and similar instruments – and in particular, music played in the Middle Tennessee region throughout its history. We recommend checking them out (they often have concerts and showcases, and even offer lessons). So, who’s going to be delighting you at the park this week?
All pre-show performances begin at 6:30 p.m.
Fiddle & Pick’s “Slow Jammers” with Special Guest Ivy Phillips
Highland Rim Bluegrass Band
Fiddle & Pick’s Irish Fiddle Students with Irish Session Group
Many of these musicians will have music available in the Nashville Shakes tent during their performances. They’re all performing in the park for free, so if you like what you hear, support them!
We like to see what people pull out of their picnic baskets every night at the park, but just because you can bring your own food, doesn’t mean you have too. Every weekend, we’re joined in the park by several food vendors. They’re there to help you out with all your picnic needs (and subsidize the picnic stuffs you brought yourself). If you’re joining us at the park for opening weekend, check out who’s going to be at the park while you’re there. If you’re merely thinking about joining us (or wondering if you should wait until a later weekend), peruse the whole list. Who knows? You might find something to entice you to come on down!
Stop by, grab a snack and say hello! See you at the park!
Side Note: We will be catering a picnic for our Royal Box VIPs every night. Not a VIP? You can be! Find out how to experience Shakespeare in the Park in style.
As You Like It will run through September 14th at Centennial Park in Nashville. More info here.