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Richmond Shakespeare Festival returns for 24th installment this June and July

The festival will run from June 1 through July 30, 2023, Thursday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM.

Trevor Dickerson

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Richmond Shakespeare and Agecroft Hall & Gardens have announced the 24th Annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival. The festival will run from June 1 through July 30, 2023, Thursday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM.

“We are so excited to get the festival started at Agecroft Hall this summer. We have one of Shakespeare’s best comedies and a very funny adaptation of Molière’s The Misanthrope by renowned playwright, David Ives. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer evening,” artistic director James Ricks remarked. “The festival is a summer tradition that screams ‘You’re Very Richmond If’,” adds managing director Jase Sullivan. “The combination of theatre under the stars with the gorgeous surroundings of Agecroft Hall on the James River make for an evening of magic.”

The festival kicks off with The School for Lies by David Ives. A gleeful truth-teller, Frank is a French aristocrat who despises his society of liars and doesn’t mind telling them so. His well-aimed barbs wreak havoc in a world of pompous suitors and extravagant ladies, until rumors ricochet and alternative facts become reality. This wild farce of furious tempo and stunning verbal display, all in very contemporary couplets, runs variations on Molière’s The Misanthrope, of which it is inspired.

Closing out the season is William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare’s most farcical comedy tells the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps, based on mistaken identities, leads to melodrama and mayhem. This contemporary take on Shakespeare’s shortest play promises to be a hilarious evening for the whole family.

Agecroft Hall executive director Anne Kenny-Urban invites patrons to, “come wander through our gardens, enjoy a picnic with your friends on the lawn, and then sit back and be entertained by a wonderfully comic romp by Richmond Shakes. They breathe new life into Shakespeare, and you will leave relaxed, happy and full of special memories.” This summer’s festival features returning favorite vendors including Garden Grove Brewing and Urban Winery, who will be on-site Thursday through Saturday evenings with beers and wine.

In addition, the festival will include several new vendors throughout the season. Thursday through Sunday evenings will feature various ice cream and frozen treat vendors. Kismet Market will offer a variety of stalls featuring local makers June 10-11 and July 15-16. Kenny-Urban adds “with all of these offerings in addition to the beautiful setting and the classic plays at the center of it all, the Richmond Shakespeare Festival offers a uniquely Richmond experience to tantalize all of your senses.”

Tickets for the 24th Annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival are on sale now. Visit www.richmondshakespeare.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.