New Rochelle's Sound Shore Shakespeare Fest Returns

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Tyrus and Amy Lemerande make up the Knighthorse Theatre Company.
Tyrus and Amy Lemerande make up the Knighthorse Theatre Company. Photo Credit: Courtesy Cristina Cerone
The Ajkun Ballet will perform the world premiere of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."
The Ajkun Ballet will perform the world premiere of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The New Rochelle Council on the Arts' Sound Shore Shakespeare Festival is set to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday.

The annual festival returns on Thursday, April 3, and will run until May 15 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of the Bard of Avon. The festival will open on Thursday, April 3, at the New Rochelle Public Library’s Ossie Davis Theater. The festival includes a variety of Shakespeare-themed events, including films, concerts, lectures and performances, including the world premiere of a ballet based on "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

“The Sound Shore Shakespeare Festival is especially meaningful this year as we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth,” said Theresa Kump Leghorn, president of the New Rochelle Council of the Arts and founder of the festival. “Four centuries may have passed since Shakespeare’s time, but his gift for storytelling -- and his grasp of human nature -- remain timeless.”

There will be a screening of three different versions of “The Taming of the Shrew” at the New Rochelle Public Library on Thursdays in April, with introductory comments by professor Amy Stackhouse, assistant chair of the English department at Iona College, and T.J. Moretti, assistant professor of English at Iona College and co-editor of The Shakespeare Newsletter.

The Ajkun Ballet will perform the world premiere of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" on Tuesday, April 11, and Wednesday, April 12, at the Whitney Young Theater at New Rochelle High School. Choreographed by company founder Chiara Ajkun, the piece is described as “magical and irresistible.” Also on tap is a concert, “Serenade in Song -- Shakespeare Set to Music” by the Sound Shore Chorale, on April 26. The evening will include madrigals, songs and scenes from opera and Broadway musicals, according to a news release.

A full calendar of festival events is available at the Sound Shore Shakespeare Festival webpage. 

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