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Community Involvement At Heart Of This Year’s Production Of Shakespeare In Clark Park

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(credit: Cherri Gregg)

(credit: Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Community involvement is at the heart of this year’s production of Shakespeare in Clark Park.

One hundred everyday folks are preparing to take the stage to perform an epic scene in one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

In its ninth season, Shakespeare in Clark Park brings free performances of Shakespeare’s work to West Philadelphia. This year the play is Henry IV: Your King And Mine where non-actor volunteers from 39 neighborhoods go head to head in the imaginary Battle of Shrewsbury, a scene only alluded to in the actual play.

“Instead of imagining what would have happened, we have 100 people march on stage in formation and you get to see this epic battle,” says Benjamin Camp, co-producer and actor with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation. The group received a grant from the Knight Foundation to execute their big hairy idea.

“We’ve had five weeks of rehearsals, three nights a week,” says Camp, “they’ve put hours and hours of practice in, learning formations, learning different pieces of choreography.”

All of that hard work will be put to the test on July 30th when the play opens at Clark Park at 7 p.m.

(Reporter:) Have you ever been in a play before?

“I haven’t so much as been in a school play,” says Loretta Lavella, a volunteer. She’s a huge Shakespeare fan and drives from Abington each day for the rehearsal.

“It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be,” she says, “I just imagined that were going to play act out a fight, but there was real choreography that we had to learn. It’s been a lot of fun though– meeting people and seeing what’s behind the curtain of a big production like this.”

The volunteers will take the stage at Clark Park for free performances July 30 through August 3 at 7 p.m.

Details are at http://shakespeareinclarkpark.org/.

 

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