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Actors Bring Shakespeare, Magic To Tarrytown Park

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – When it comes to performing Shakespeare's “The Tempest,” Polina Ionina and Katharine Wood believe the scenic, wooded beauty of Neperan Park adds to the production.

“It's really beautiful,” Wood said. “The natural lighting that we get is gorgeous.”

Ionina and Wood are co-directing and acting in the Shakespeare classic with the Den of Thieves Experimenal Theater Group . The group will perform three times this weekend: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. Rain dates will be Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Admission to the performances is free, and Wood encouraged residents to bring beach blankets and chairs to sit on, as well as bug spray. Refreshments will be available, and Ionina noted that the performances will include live music.

The Den of Thieves group was formed in 2011 because there was no adult community theater in Tarrytown, Wood said. Both Wood and Ionina praised youth theater productions such as the YMCA theater program, but noted they're for kids.

“We grew out of that and thought, 'where's the acting in our hometown?'” Wood said.

The theater group hopes to create a community event around the Shakespeare series. This is the second year it has staged a production.

The group chose “The Tempest” because it involves magic, Ionina said.

“I think it's personally very beautiful and captivating and appropriate for all ages,” she said.

Both directors noted challenges in performing outdoors. In addition to creating the set, designing the costumes and directing the play, Ionina notes she and Wood have also had to teach their actors how to project because they won't be using microphones during the performance.

“There are a lot of issues with sound and weather,” Wood said. “We were run out of the park the other day by a thunderstorm.”

The performers will be using a lot of the outdoor venue, including the playground area and even the seating area, Ionina said. The idea is to create an atmosphere with the audience, Wood said.

Cast Prospero: Julia RustAriel: Polina IoninaCaliban: Katharine WoodMiranda: Haley Jane RoseFerdinand: Gordon GrajekAlonso: Arley MortonSebastian: James MasciovecchioAntonia: Haley Jane RoseGonzalo: Laisa BarrosTrinculo: James MasciovecchioStephano: Arley MortonSpirits: Rachel Tamarin, Kristen Ippolito

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