Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Shakespeare: American Players Theatre

One of these days, I'm going to start a separate blog about Shakespeare-related road trips. After all, this blog is supposed to be about classes in Indianapolis, not theater gems like the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. For the moment, however, please bear with me.

This past weekend, I checked another theater company off of my list: the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin. This is a unique outdoor venue, situated on top of a heavily wooded hill in the Wisconsin River Valley. Here, you can watch Shakespeare under the stars while listening to the crickets and sipping hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps.

Even better, each weekend you can catch a lecture in the Bard Talks series, which is all about understanding, acting and directing Shakespeare's work.

I saw all three of the company's Shakespeare plays for the season: "A Winter's Tale," "Henry V" and "Comedy of Errors." All three were very well done, although I must admit that I prefer the "Comedy of Errors" done in Stratford two seasons ago.

Spring Green truly has something for everyone, from outdoor activities like canoeing to one of the world's craziest tourist traps. The area is also home to architectural gems like Taliesen, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. Or, you can tour one of the dozens of dairies and wineries in the area, such as the Wollersheim Winery near Prairie du Sac. My husband killed some time at the local batting cages, and he's planning to play some golf on our next visit.

The APT attracts a lot of repeat business, and it was difficult to find a hotel room on short notice. So, I'm planning ahead for next year, and I'll be making a hotel reservation as soon as the 2010 season schedule is announced. Spring Green isn't as enchanting as Stratford; it lacks the cute boutiques and incredible restaurants. But the theater itself is worth the drive, and I'm looking forward to being there again.

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