Shakespearian Treasure in Lacey’s Wonderwood Park

“I’ve wanted to stage this play for over 15 years because of the vibrant characters. …So, when you talk about them and create their journeys, you have all these different events to pull from.” Animal Fire co-founder, Austen Anderson, returns to the outdoor stage to direct a stellar cast in this new adaptation in Lacey’s Wonderwood Park he hopes will appeal to audiences unfamiliar with the Bard as well as Shakespearian aficionados.

Shakespeare’s Henry IV

Animal Fire presents a condensed version of Henry IV parts 1 & 2 in one evening. Come witness a nation in turmoil, the transformation of a young man into a king, and the frivolity of Shakespeare’s original rascal, Fallstaff. Bring blankets, enjoy a picnic, and don’t forget the bug spray! At a new location this …

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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer & Jess Winfield, new revisions by Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Directed by Corey McDaniel. Starring Alyssa Kay, Eleise Moore, and Drew Doyle. An irreverent, hilarious, high-speed romp through all 37 of the Bard’s plays (and 154 sonnets) in under two hours! Titus Andronicus becomes a cooking show, all the Histories are …

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Theater Review: Animal Fire Theatre’s The Winter’s Tale

THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Animal Fire Theatre’s The Winter’s Tale is the way Shakespeare in the Park should be done. The outdoor setting is a clearing surrounded by sky-high evergreens, and on the perfect summer’s evening when I attended, even the mosquitoes cooperated by going somewhere else. Despite a peculiarity, which …

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Shakespeare in the Park

by JONAH BARRETT All the park’s a stage, but remember to bring bug spray. Animal Fire Theatre returns for its eighth summer production, The Winter’s Tale. Hipster thespians know it as one of the bard’s more obscure plays, memorable mostly for the greatest stage direction there ever was: “Exit, pursued by a bear.” Detailing a …

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Lauren Love

Goodnight Desdemona (Hello, Comedy)

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Practically everything William Shakespeare wrote has been subject to parody. Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann Marie MacDonald mines some of the bard’s great tragedies to comic effect. English professor Constance Ledbelly decides Othello and Romeo and Juliet were originally written as comedies, and not by Shakespeare. This …

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Pisano and Imogen in Harlequin Productions' Cymbeline

REVIEW: Cymbeline at Harlequin Productions

THEATER REVIEW by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS Few community theaters, or for that matter few theaters of any kind anywhere, are willing to tackle William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. It’s among the bard’s least-produced plays for a reason, but as Harlequin Productions’ artistic director and the director of this show, Scot Whitney, says, there’s a core …

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Animal Fire Theatre Company

Summer Shakespeare in the Park

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS After a hiatus last summer, outdoor Shakespeare by Animal Fire Theatre is back with the romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, opening June 30 in the Water Garden on the east side of the Capitol Campus. The free production will take audiences back to Hollywood during the Roaring ’20s. …

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Peter Beard and Jay Minton in Macbeth from Animal Fire Theatre Group

Animal Fire Theatre Group

Animal Fire Theatre Group was started by a group of theater students fresh out of the University of Idaho’s theater program. Inspired by what they had learned, they set about producing their favorite Shakespeare plays in whatever space they could find, with whatever budget they could pull together. Animal Fire produces one Shakespeare play each year (excepting a hiatus in 2016). Animal Fire’s company name refers to the “animals exercise” that inspired its founders at U of I and the fires of passion and inspiration.

In 2013, after the departure of Animal Fire’s founders for opportunities in other states, leadership of the company was assumed by Brian Hatcher, Scott Douglas and Kate Arvin. This new ensemble’s goal was to produce vibrant, relevant, high-quality productions of classical texts in rough, raw, modern ways, bringing out the true heart of each story. As artists, they endeavor to explore the breadth of human instinct, impulses, self and character. They still use the animals exercise, and other non-traditional rehearsal methods, to heighten physical and emotional awareness within the safety of a supportive arts collective. Its productions are free and staged in open-air locations all over Olympia.

The company has announced Much Ado About Nothing as its featured show in Summer 2017.

The Winter’s Tale

Priest Point Park,
2600 East Bay Dr. NE, Olympia

7 p.m. Friday – Sunday, July 13 – Aug. 5



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