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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: July 10, 2014

Summer Shakespeare: Free Bard in Deering Oaks to Romeo & Juliet & Zombies in Stonington

There’s plenty of Shakespeare in Maine this summer, from Kennebunk to Portland to Stonington. Much of it is free and outdoors.

Written by: Bob Keyes
A Fenix Theatre performance in 2010. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

A Fenix Theatre performance in 2010. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

Experience the beauty, humor, grace – and unexpected blood-letting – of the Bard

Shakespeare on the Mall

The Theater Project is performing a shortened version of Shakespeare’s final play, “The Tempest” at the gazebo on Brunswick’s Mall.  It will be performed August 8, 9 and 10 at 6:15 p.m. each evening, using natural lighting and live sound.  There will be no amplification, artificial lighting or recorded sound, and the performances are free to the public.

The Bard in Lafayette park

MaineStage Shakespeare presents “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Macbeth” at Lafayette Park in Kennebunk. All performances are free, and presented Wednesday through Saturday through Aug. 9. Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday, 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. The shows alternate night to night, with each receiving two performances weekly. Chiara Klein directs both shows. Rain location is Town Hall Auditorium. For details, call 207-205-3848 or visit

“As You Like It” in Deering Oaks

In Portland, Fenix Theatre Company presents “As You Like It,” directed by Peter Brown, at Deering Oaks. Performances are 6:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, from July 17 to Aug. 9. There’s no performance July 26. That weekend, the show will be presented on July 27, a Sunday. All performances are free, and staged in the wading pool and ravine area of the park. Bring a blanket and picnic, and plan to arrive early. There’s no amplification, and the crowds get large. The show will go on through light rain. Downpours may cause cancellations. For details, go to

Double-dose of Shakespeare in Monmouth

This summer at the Theater at Monmouth, theater-goers will get a double-dose of Shakespeare, the comedy “As You Like It” that opens the season July 10, and a streamlined version of “Romeo and Juliet” that emphasizes the balance between fate and choice, opening July 24. There are two other plays in the repertory season by English playwrights: Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance” and Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw.” The children’s show is “Tales from the Blue Fairy Book” by Australian playwright Luke Bartholomew. The repertory season opens Thursday and continues through Aug. 24. PLAYS: “As You Like It,” July 10-Aug. 23; “A Woman of No Importance,” July 17-Aug. 23; “Romeo and Juliet,” July 24-Aug. 24; “What the Butler Saw,” July 31-Aug. 22. Performances take place at Cumston Hall, 796 Main St., Monmouth. Tickets are $30, $27 seniors, $20 students. For more info, call 207-933-9999 or
Read more: A double-dose of Shakespeare this summer at Theatre at Monmouth

Romeo & Juliet & Zombies in Stonington

In Stonington, Opera House Arts presents two takes on Shakespeare throughout July: “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Holly L. Derr, and the premiere of “R&J&Z,” or “Romeo & Juliet & Zombies” by Melody Bates and directed by Joan Jubett. The same cast, including professionals and community members, acts in both shows.The run includes two talk-backs hosted by cultural journalist Alicia Anstead and featuring Shakespeare scholar Yu Jin Ko of Wellesley College, on July 18 and 19.

“R&J&Z” in Stonington is part horror movie and part Shakespeare with humor. It asks, what if Romeo and Juliet got a second chance? It brings familiar characters together with new characters in an apocalyptic manner. “Shakespeare was an omnivore,” playwright Bates said in a press release. “He sampled from all the modern culture of his time, and his plays were written to entertain the working man as well as the ruling elites. Haitian zombie lore is an important part of our current cultural milieu for a reason: come to ‘R&J&Z’ to discover why.” Show times and ticket prices vary. For details, visit

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