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Travis Voels

Recommended

Romeo and Juliet

Every Thu., Fri., and Sat. from June 15-July 15
7 p.m.
Every Sun. from June 17-July 15
2 p.m.
June 26
7 p.m.
Free
Theater

“No one has bought a ticket,” says Joseph Papke about the particular pressure of presenting Shakespeare in the park. “No one has to sit there and listen to you. If they stay, it’s because what you’re doing is engaging them.” This is the fifth year Papke’s company Classical Actors Ensemble is bringing the Bard to Twin Cities green spaces, and they’ve seen their audiences steadily increase. Papke says they’ve gone from, “Oh, hey, there’s 30 people today! That’s great!” to, “Oh my God, there’s like 250 people here.” This year, the company is breaking with tradition and presenting a tragedy instead of a comedy. They’re not hitting us with Lear, though: They’re staging Romeo and Juliet. “It actually is a fantastic balance of comedy and tragedy,” says Papke. Even if you just caught the Guthrie’s 2017 production, Papke believes the timeless tale is worth seeing again. “There’s something to the experience of going through the story with actors in an intimate, real-world setting in the beauty of our local parks.” Find times and locations at www.classicalactorsensemble.org.