The Winter's Tale
Winter's Tale in Clark Park: Good performances take the unruly text
"This production treats this plot with the care usually accorded Shakespeare's best political thrillers, pitting Bergen's near-sympathetic portrayal of fury against the impassioned yet logical pleading of trusted adviser's Paulina (the excellent Nicole Godino) and Camillo (Wendy Staton)."
-Jim Rutter, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Henry IV with a cast of, well, lots
". . . The most ambitious production by Shakespeare in Clark Park that I've seen in its 10 years of performances, and the most successful. . . . A forceful and highly engaging telling of the young playboy prince's tale. . . . It's an impressive production, with all the trimmings. The other players include Marla Burkholder, artistic director of Shakespeare in Clark Park, and they all contribute to the energy and pacing of the show – and to the fun of it, which comes through easily in their interpretation of Shakespeare's text."
- Howard Shapiro, Newsworks.org
Shakespeare in Clark Park returns July 24 with The Tempest
"Under [Adrienne] Mackey’s direction, SCP’s production of “The Tempest” will color itself outside the theater lines. While Prospero’s role is typically cast with a male actor, Mackey has brought in Barrymore Award-winning actress Catharine Slusar to take on the contentious lead . . . "
- Annamarya Scaccia, West Philly Local
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Delightful Merry Wives of Windsor In Clark Park
"The Merry Wives of Windsor might be the most trifling of Shakespeare's comedic trifles. But with its broad humor and a plot as slender as, well, its character Slender, Shakespeare in Clark Park proves the Merry Wives' mettle as a delightful outdoor accompaniment on a summer evening."
- Wendy Rosenfeld, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Much Ado About Nothing
An Outdoor Much Ado Triumphs Over All
". . . This company's take on Will's comic treatment of a pair of couples who attempt to resist Cupid's bull's-eyes provides a breezy respite from the weather. . . . This cast stays cool and offers West Philly a solid reason to venture away from its air-conditioned comfort and sit outside with the neighbors."
- Wendy Rosenfeld, The Philadelphia Inquirer
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare in Clark Park
"Devising a concept for a Shakespeare play can be tricky, but for Shakespeare in Clark Park's fifth annual summer production, all director Maria Moller did was look around. Her ideas for A Midsummer Night's Dream "grew out of the bike-heavy culture of Clark Park ... and out of the way a bicycle transforms your movement and lets you fly." Since this romantic comedy is also Shakespeare's most fantastical play, designer Erica Hoelscher's costumes are, Moller explains, "a melange of Japanese cosplay, Burning Man and Vivienne Westwood — all extreme fashions ... that humans engage in to bring themselves closer to a 'magical' world." Stephen Hungerford's set uses aluminum trees "inspired by bicycle-based kinetic sculpture," while composer Andrew Nelson's live music employs everything from "regular old drums to bits of metal hanging off a bike frame." Most magical of all is the price: As always, SCP's performances are free."
- Mark Cofta, City Paper
The Comedy of Errors
The Bard shines indoors as rain pours outside
"The play is merry and the performances entertaining . . . . Luigi Sottile and Bradley K. Wrenn bring off one set of twins with nice madcap timing, and Justin Jain and Benjamin Camp imbue the other set with a proper confusion. Marla Burkholder and Mary Tuomanen are game as the women central to the befuddlement. "
- Howard Shapiro, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Comedy of Errors
"Marla Burkholder stands out in the role Adriana, who doesn’t realize her husband’s long-lost twin is in town. Her sweet, staccato ire never misses a beat. Mary Tuomanen appears as pious sister Luciana. David Sweeney gives a whirlwind, multitalented performance in various ensemble roles including the Duke, but really breaks out the fun for the bumbling, hysterical exorcist Dr. Pinch. Jess Conda ratchets up comedy over seduction as both a demanding courtesan and the bamboozled goldsmith."
- Alaina Mabaso, EDGE Philadelphia
Editor's Pick: The Comedy of Errors
"It’s an impressive achievement for any theater company to last four years. It’s even more impressive when you consider the unique troupe Shakespeare in Clark Park has never charged so much as a penny for their performances. . . . A zippy, playful work about pursuing your dreams and desires, Errors would seem the perfect entertainment for a warm summer eve."
- J. Cooper Rob, The Philadelphia Weekly
As You Like It
Editor's Picks For The Week: As You Like It
"Shakespeare in Clark Park is one of the best ways to add a little gas to ol’ Billy’s witty pastoral comedy—this one most famously the source of the line 'All the world’s a stage.' Besides, who wants to be in some poorly ventilated theater surrounded by crushed velvet and sticky floors on a nice evening? . . . There’s no better way to jump between the rural and the urban than in Clark Park. Take a deep whiff of exhaust, smush your toes into the grass and enjoy the show."
- John Steele, The Philadelphia Weekly
"The terrific young company Shakespeare in Clark Park returns for a third summer. . ."
- J. Cooper Robb, TheaterMania.com
WRTI Creatively Speaking: Shakespeare in Clark Park's As You Like It
An interview with director Maria Möller, music director Andrew Nelson, and actor Justin Jain.
Romeo and Juliet
Editor's Pick: Romeo and Juliet
"Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet is typically thought of as the tale of two "star cross'd lovers." But in the new production from fledgling company Shakespeare in Clark Park, the focus won't be as much on the doomed couple as on a community divided. Director Tom Reing explains that while the production isn't set in any particular era, the rampant violence besetting the lovers' hometown of Verona is not unlike the hostilities currently plaguing Philadelphia. The profound civil unrest is reflected in Jacob Walton's scenic design, which depicts Verona as cancerous concrete, dirt and corroded steel, an image echoed in Kelly Cobb's oxidized costumes. Juxtaposed with the decay is the pastoral beauty of the park where the teen lovers seek refuge from their feuding families. Trimmed down from its usual three hours to approximately 100 minutes, SCP's Romeo and Juliet follows up the company's successful debut production last summer of the Bard's Twelfth Night, which attracted more than 2,000 spectators to the West Philly park. The company has upgraded its sound system to accommodate a larger audience, so wherever you spread your blanket, you won't miss a word of Shakespeare's eloquent prose."
- J. Coober Robb, The Philadelphia Weekly
Arts Picks: Romeo and Juliet
". . . I can't think of a better way to savor R&J than live in Clark Park, where the intimacy, and the landscape, should suit it perfectly. And it's free! It seems that the doomed lovers will have their day in the sun - better yet, their evening in the moonlight - after all."
- David Anthony Fox, City Paper
Shakespeare in Clark Park a summer treat
"The Twelfth Night presented in Clark Park by a small troupe of theatrical pros is a remarkable combination of excellent classical acting and disconcertingly contemporary naturalness. Director Tom Reing has found some lovely and funny place where Shakespeare's world and ours meet under a half-moon on a hot summer's night. Bring a blanket and picnic dinner, bring the kids, the dogs, the bicycle, bug spray, a beach chair, whatever - but don't miss this one."
- Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Midsummer Madness: The brand-new Shakespeare in Clark Park takes it outside
"Last summer, while waiting out a downpour in the Franklin Mills Mall, actors Maria Möller and Marla Burkholder started talking about what they missed in Philly's summer theater scene. A year later, the result of that conversation is four nights of free theater from the first truly Philadelphian Shakespeare in the Park company, founded by Burkholder, Möller, director Tom Reing and managing director Whitney Estrin."
- Rachel Frankford, City Paper
A-List: Twelfth Night
"Reing has emerged as one of the city’s most creative directors, and with a strong cast performing a taut, edited version of the play, the show provides a rare opportunity to see the best of professional Philadelphia theater free of charge."
- J. Cooper Robb, The Philadelphia Weekly