Community performances of Shakespeare return

July 20, 2010

By Elizabeth DeVos

The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's ‘Othello’ performs during the summer's first ‘Shakespeare on the Green’ presentation in Issaquah. By Amy Dukes

The famous Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing” won’t put a dent in pocketbooks July 29, when Issaquah’s Arts Commission and 4Culture will co-sponsor the play for the final show of this year’s “Shakespeare on the Green.”

This year is the second annual Shakespeare on the Green event according to Amy Dukes, arts coordinator for the Arts Commission. Issaquah hosted the event several years ago before Wooden O and Seattle Shakespeare merged; the program restarted last year.

The Arts Commission supports the event because it provides, “free high quality performing arts to the community in a relaxed accessible environment,” Dukes said.The Seattle Shakespeare Co. believes the show must go on, even if it is raining the night of the play.

“About 100 people attended the July 8 production of ‘Othello’ despite the 90-plus heat,” Dukes said. “We hope to have milder weather for ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and at least double that number.”

Wooden O is a production group through the Seattle Shakespeare Co., which has been in existence for 15 years. The company performs free outdoor Shakespeare plays in the summer from Lynnwood to Auburn at King County Parks.

While it’s not in a typical theater setting, it is recommended that chairs or blankets be brought to enjoy the show.

Wooden O will perform on the Issaquah Community Center lawn, 301 Rainier Blvd. S. at 7 p.m.

Each year, the Seattle-based company 4Culture gives the Issaquah Arts commission $7,200 to help put on programs for the public, according to Charlie Rathbun, arts program director at 4Culture.

The Arts Commission hopes to host the series again next year, Dukes said.

“We support the Issaquah Arts Commission annually,” he said. “They use the money for Shakespeare on the Green, the Farmers Market, Concerts on the Green, film series and Shakespeare workshops for incarcerated communities.”

The group put on workshops at Echo Glen, Washington’s juvenile detention center. It houses young offenders from around the state while they serve their sentences.

Elizabeth DeVos: 392-6434 or Comment at

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