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The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival

Open Mic Shakespeare and Free Bard

The Cleveland Shakespeare FestivalThe Cleveland Shakespeare Festival is launching a monthly open reading of Shakespeare's plays that anyone can take part in, called Open Mic Shakespeare. The company, which is in its 15th year of producing free outdoor Shakespearean theater, also this week announced its 2012 summer lineup, The Merchant of Venice and Henry VIII or All is True.

Open Mic Shakespeare is scheduled for the first Monday of each month at 7 pm in the Market Avenue Wine Bar. Roles will be distributed at the beginning of the evening and rotated throughout the play. A limited number of copies will be made available for readers, so participants are encouraged to bring their own. You can find each month's title on The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival's Facebook page.

For the 2012 season, opening in June, Brian Zoldessy will direct The Merchant of Venice. Director of the theatre arts department at Cuyahoga Community College, Zoldessy was one of the original Cleveland Shakespeare Festival directors (from 1998 to 2003) and has directed and produced more than 60 award-winning productions, including earning two Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Acting and Directing Awards.

Directing Henry VIII will be David Hansen, associate residency supervisor for Great Lakes Theater Festival's Education Department and a member of the Cleveland Play House Playwrights Unit.  Hansen was a co-founder of Guerrilla Theater Company, founded Dobama's Night Kitchen, and was artistic director for the Bad Epitaph Theater Company.

The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival receives public support with local tax dollars from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture to preserve and enrich the region's artistic and cultural heritage.

December 18, 2011

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