by Matt Steinberg

ShakespeareInParkI recently attended a performance of Julius Caesar at Shakespeare in Delaware Park, which has been a summertime tradition in Buffalo since 1976. It’s one the few remaining free Shakespeare festivals in the country, and the country’s second most successful outdoor Shakespeare festival in terms of audience, attracting an average of 50,000 patrons each summer.Two masterpieces are staged each season; in addition to Julius Caesar, The Tempest was performed earlier this summer.

Situated on the appropriately name Shakespeare Hill in the Frederick Law Olmsted designed park, the performances are held Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm, weather permitting. Blankets and lawn chairs are the preferred seating, accompanied by a picnic of your choosing. The grand Tudor-style stage is at the bottom of the hill, affording all spectators an excellent view, no matter where they sit. Each actor is miked, so the sound quality is excellent, allowing the Bard’s beautiful language to sing throughout the park and be clearly heard. The show I went to was crisply acted and kept me engaged throughout – each play is put on by professionals, and it shows.

Everything about Shakespeare is FREE, from the performance to the parking, and is a perfect way to spend a pleasant summer evening. For more information, check out www.shakespeareindelawarepark.org.

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