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The Virginia Shakespeare Festival is kicking off its 37th season Wednesday with the debut of All’s Well That Ends Well.
This romantic comedy, which has not been performed by VSF for more than 20 years, will feature Mia Hutchinson-Shaw, a New York-based actress trained at Scotland’s Royal Conservatory, as the leading lady.
Many supporting cast members also boast impressive resumes, including Kathleen Huber, who has appeared on numerous episodes of Law & Order and off-Broadway productions, as the Countess.
This particular take on All’s Well That Ends Well will have a unique twist, as it is being presented in the 17th-century “cavalier” style distinctive to such novels as The Three Musketeers.
“We chose t0 set the story in that period because it has a great swash-buckling, romantic quality,” said Christopher Owens, the producing artistic director for VSF. “There’s lot of wonderful flounce and lace.”
Another important consideration when choosing a time period in which the story could take place was ensuring there would be a defined class hierarchy in place in that era, as tension within the class structure is a central point of the plot of the show.
Despite the old-fashioned ideas about romance between people of different classes presented in the play, Owens thinks modern audiences will be attracted to All’s Well’s strong female lead, who pursues her desires despite them going against the social conventions of the time.
“Compared to some of Shakespeare’s other comedies, these characters are complex, nuanced and more modern,” Owens said.
The show runs July 8 through 19 at Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall. Tickets can be purchased here.
Sentara Holds Ribbon-Cutting for Adopt-a-Bench Initiative
LEAD Historic Triangle Class of 2015 is celebrating the installation of a bench at a Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center bus stop, the first success story of its Adopt-a-Bench project.
LEAD is a branch of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance dedicated to identifying, fostering and supporting community leaders.
Members of this year’s class came up with the idea to install benches at local bus stops at a retreat last fall, and the Williamsburg Area Transit Authority was more than happy to get behind LEAD’s vision.
“Our class decided that a simple bench would improve safety and comfort and also add an element of beautification to our community,” said Dawn Olesky, a member of LEAD.
The scope of project at this stage is limited to installing 10 benches at high-traffic bus stops otherwise lacking in amenities. If the initiative is successful, the program could be expanded in future years.
Sentara was the first organization to sign on as a presenting sponsor of the project, and thus far plans are in place for benches at three stops along routes that service the hospital.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inaugural bench took place June 30, with members of LEAD, WATA and Sentara in attendance.
“We think this is going to be a great benefit for the many riders of WATA,” said J. Mark Carter, WATA Vice Chairman of the Board and York County Assistant County Administrator.