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Shakespeare returns to outdoor amphitheatre
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The popular Shakespeare under the stars show is returning to California State University, Stanislaus with the upcoming production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”

The College of the Arts’ Department of Theatre will stage the romantic comedy in the open-air amphitheatre and is showing it free of charge.

The play follows the adventures of four young lovers, a group of amateur actors and their interactions one summer evening with the fairies that inhabit a moonlit forest. The plot is full of twists, turns, mischief and mayhem.

The play is under the direction of Theatre Professor Jere O’Donnell, who is giving his own twist to the Shakespearean classic.

“It hits all the notes, but has a few tweaks,” O’Donnell said. “I don’t do anything traditionally.”

O’Donnell has set his staging of the play in the 1890s, during the Edwardian era.

The university previously staged Shakespeare shows outdoors on an annual basis, but budget constraints saw its demise last year.

The Theatre Department is hoping this production will kick-off a yearly tradition at the university that will see an expansive show take the amphitheatre stage at the end of each spring semester.

Pre-show entertainment will start at 7:15 p.m. and the performances will begin at sundown. Shows are scheduled for May 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Attendees can bring low-back chairs, blankets, and their own picnics, or if they wish, catered picnic dinners will be available through pre-orders.

Admission and parking for the shows are free. The free parking is available only in Lot 3. See the university’s Web site for maps and directions at For additional information please contact the Department of Theatre at 667-3451 or visit the Web site at Pre-order gourmet picnic dinners through Chartwells by calling 667-3634.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.