For more than a decade, Shakespeare in Clark Park has transformed West Philly’s favorite urban oasis into a high-quality theater for the people. Each year, hundreds of Philadelphians make their way to the Clark Park’s verdant natural bowl to watch professional actors bring to life classic Shakespeare works.
The annual tradition continues Wednesday, July 27 through Sunday, July 31, with performances of Shakespeare’s timeless romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona. For five nights, leading actors and crew from the local theater scene join forces with community dance group Lindy and Blues for a rollicking evening of swing dancing and laughter.
Plus, this year the outdoor theatrics are joined by Philadelphia’s traveling beer garden Parks on Tap. The mobile beer garden finds a home at Clark Park this week, bringing with it local beers, sliders and snacks from Wednesday through Sunday.
Performances of The Two Gentlemen of Verona start at 7 p.m., but it’s best to come early and reserve a space for your blanket or folding chair. Up to a thousand people take advantage of the ticketless, free production (donations are of course accepted!).
And not just people: on July 29, the dog days of summer take on a new meaning when Shakespeare in Clark Park teams up with the Pennsylvania SPCA for a special “Friendly Dog Night”, with treats for canines and their human friends, an info booth and “dog mask” decoration for kids.
Note that in the case of summer storms, the show goes indoors to the Main Dining Hall at the University of the Sciences.
What’s more lovely and temperate than theater in the park?