Not all people who study theatre are lovers of Shakespeare. In fact, there were very few Shakespeare lovers among the people I pursued my Bachelor of Fine Arts/Theatre degree with in Vermillion approximately a thousand years ago!

I freely admit my love for Shakespeare. There is something completely mesmerizing about the sound of it. The issues it explores (ambition, betrayal, corruption, revenge, suffering and so many more) still resonate in today's world. And no matter how it is staged, whether in a traditional Elizabethan style or an updated presentation, it retains a lyrical beauty which is stunning.

I honestly had no idea there was an active Shakespeare Festival here in South Dakota. The company consists of professional and non-professional actors from South Dakota and across the country. They formed in 2011, did their first production in 2012 and are gearing up for another season this June in Vermillion, doing their first historical Shakespearean play Richard III. 

This sweeping drama is also classified by many as a tragedy, recounting the ambitious rise and climactic fall of an ever-changing, overly ambitious, villainous, tyrant. It's central themes involve examinations of the role of fate in life and the struggle between good and evil.

You can take in this vibrant exploration of one of history's most intriguing humans, June 7 through 10 in Prentis Park in Vermillion. Performances begin at 7 PM, June 7 through 9, and there is a 4 PM performance on Sunday, June 10. Free will donations are accepted.

The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival also offers multiple workshops for Youth on Thursday, June 7, at the Vermillion library during performance week and a discussion of Richard III with two Shakespeare scholars before the play at 3 PM on Saturday, June 9, in Prentis Park.

So if you're a Shakespeare fan like me, after the long "winter of our discontent", indulge yourself! If not, at least broaden your horizons at the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival next month in Vermillion!

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