2012-06-15 / On The Town
Kingsmen open fest with ‘Much Ado’
The 16th annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival will open the 2012 season with “Much Ado About Nothing” in Kingsmen Park at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks.
Directed by CLU alumnus Kevin P. Kern, performances will be at 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 29 through July 15.
The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for pre-show picnicking and entertainment.
One of Shakespeare’s bestloved comedies, this production of “Much Ado” is set in early 19th century England just after the Napoleonic wars. The Georgian period provides a well-mannered, genteel society that’s a foil for the smart and sharp- tongued Beatrice, played by Elyse Mirto.
Brent Ramirez, a 2012 alumnus of CLU who appeared in the university’s spring production of “Jekyll and Hyde,” will play Claudio, a young soldier confl icted by his love for Beatrice’s cousin Hero.
The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company last presented the play in 2002.
Former director of the Kingsmen Shakespeare Apprentice Company and Summer Theatre Camp, Kern made his directorial debut with the festival in 2008 with “As You Like It” set in the 1970s. He is a member of both Screen Actors Guild and Actor’s Equity Association. His credits include feature films, commercials and live theatre.
Kern has been an associate professor of theatre at the University of West Florida in Pensacola for seven years and will join the faculty of the University of Mount Union in Ohio this fall. He is artistic director of the Pensacola Shakespeare Theatre. The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is the professional theatre company of CLU.
Seating is outdoors. Patrons should bring low-back chairs or blankets for seating and warm jackets for late evening.
Tickets are $20 for adults and free for those under 18. Premium box seats are $90 and side box seats are $75. Box seats accommodate six adults.
For information or lawn box reservations, call (805) 493-3014 or visit kingsmenshakespeare.org. Individual tickets are available at the door.