This summer, the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival (SDSF) is thrilled to present Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, June 8th-11th, 2017, in Vermillion’s beautiful Prentis Park. In this early play, Shakespeare double- downs on comedy as he deals us not only one, but two sets of identical twins. As the two heroes travel to the town of Ephesus in search of their long-lost twins, they are mistaken along the way by citizens who seem to know them. As the two strangers become entangled in bad debts, troubled marriages, tawdry affairs, and even a visit from a witch-doctor, Shakespeare ‘ups the ante’ with slap-stick, shtick, and plenty of verbal banter, serving up a true “comedy of errors!” The production will feature an all-star artistic team of seasoned professionals hired from competitive national and regional markets, combined with younger professionals drawn from USD’s Theatre program.
Beyond the summer production, the SDSF will launch their second biennial school tour in fall 2017, and will continue to grow their education and outreach programming, engaging youth and adults from across the state with the wonders of Shakespeare. Current educational partners include Vermillion’s SESDAC, Sanford Senior Care Center, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the National Music Museum, Flandreau Indian School, Wagner Public School, and the Minnehaha Youth Detention Center.
The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival (SDSF) is a professional non-profit theatre company, supported in collaboration with USD’s College of Fine Arts and Department of Theatre. The mission of the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is to increase the cultural, artistic and educational offerings of the state of South Dakota and surrounding regions through professional Shakespeare performances and arts education events delivered in a lively and accessible format. The SDSF recently incorporated as a non-profit entity in the state of South
Dakota, applied for their federal 501c3 status, and have assembled a board of directors comprised of community members from Vermillion and surrounding areas throughout southeast South Dakota, to support, guide, and implement their mission and vision. Under the leadership of the Board, alongside Managing Artistic Director Chaya Gordon-Bland, and Scott Mollman, Director of Operations and Production, the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival seeks to fulfill an important cultural and educational need throughout the state and Great Plains Region.
The SDSF’s 2016 production of The Winter’s Tale engaged approximately 700 patrons with the magic of Shakespeare in Vermillion’s Prentis Park, in spite of an incredible heat snap, and 2016 education and outreach programming impacted an additional 200 youth and adults. One hundred percent of responding patrons rated their SDSF experiences at a '5' on a scale of 1-5. Comments from patrons include "great actors," "rare experience," and "fun and critical background-building experience for my students!" In keeping with their mission of accessibility, all programming was offered at no cost to the public.
‘Wine with Will’, the SDSF’s annual fundraiser, will be held on February 24th, 2017, at the National Music Museum in Vermillion. Tickets for this event will be $50/person and include wine and hors d’oeuvre tastings, live music, Shakespeare performances, and a silent auction. All proceeds from this event directly support production of the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 season.
Support for the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is provided by the City of Vermillion, the Vermillion Chamber and Development Company, Sanford Vermillion, the University of South Dakota, the United Way of Vermillion, and many local and regional businesses. South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, tickets, or to get involved, please visit: www.sdshakespearefestival.org
Managing Artistic Director, SDSF
Vice President, Chair of PR and Outreach, SDSF
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