38th Annual Shakespeare in the Park Opens Thursday

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A yearly tradition in downtown Hilo is the 38th annual Shakespeare in the Park, opening Thursday, July 9 and running for three weekends until July 25 at Kalakaua Park.

This year, the Hilo Community Players will perform an adapted version of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Director Rob Hunt has put together a modernized version of the play, set in New Orleans in the 1920’s. It features characters that portray pimps, ladies, dukes, fools, and even a nun.

Mark Lewis leads the cast of 30, playing the part of Duke Vincentio. His deputy, Angelo, is played by Wilfred Tyler Gee. Other cast members include Ray Ryan (Claudio), Soraya-Elena Perez (Isabella), Peter Paul (Elbow), Randal McEndree (Pompey), and Peggy Russo (Mistress Overdone).

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night shows start at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinee performances start at 2 p.m. All shows are free, and everyone is encouraged to bring umbrellas and cushions for comfort and the potential of wet weather.


Each Saturday and Sunday during the park run, a special “Kid Shakes” production will be held at 11 a.m. Titled I Hate Shakespeare, it features classical characters such as Hamlet, Juliet, and Macbeth, mixed in zombies and a talking cow in a modernized setting. University of Hawai’i at Hilo Performing Arts graduate Alston Albarado directs the show, which features cast members ranging from ages nine to 62.

The Hilo Community Players have been active since 1938, making it the longest running theater group on the island.


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