Shakespeare Fest starts this Friday

This year’s Island Shakespeare Festival begins Friday with the first of three plays that explore themes of redemption, magic and the driving force of love.

The South Whidbey festival, which is in its 10th year, presents three rotating plays this summer.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens July 12. Jackie Apodaca returns to direct this joyous favorite, filled with fairies, magic, lovers and clowns.

“The Winter’s Tale,” directed by Kyle Haden, opens on July 20.

The production “will investigate the magical and miraculous aspects of the play, seeking vibrancy and freshness in this centuries old tale,” according to a festival press release.

Then on July 28, the festival will present the world premiere of “Dante’s Inferno.”

“Playwright Bryan Burch and director Lisa Wilson bring to life a deeply human story of suffering, self doubt, depression and hope,” the press release states. “We look forward to sharing with you the culmination of this very rewarding process, and hope you’ll find an opportunity for reflection, catharsis and empathy in these new words from a very old story.”

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