SYRACUSE, N.Y.--Shakespeare's words echo through Thornden Park, a decade after actors first took the stage here.
"This is the same show we did ten years ago. It's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and it's a great, funny show, one of Shakespeare's best, certainly one of Shakespeare's best, and that's why we started with it ten years ago," said Shakespeare Festival Executive Director Ronnie Bell.
Back then the organizers of the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival couldn't have imagined just how big their simple idea would become."We started with just one production a year, one program a year, and now we have six programs per year, so that's grown tremendously. We've already had audiences of over forty thousand people in ten years," said Bell.
While having theater outdoors may seem a bit unusual, organizers say this type of venue is exactly the type of place Shakespeare intended for his work to be enjoyed.
"Shakespeare performed in an outdoor theater, the Globe was outdoors, and part of the attraction of doing it in this type of venue is you're in the same type of atmosphere where the plays were originally presented," said Bell.
Historical significance aside, many spectators simply enjoy taking in a show while basking in the sunshine, like Pittsburgh Resident Caitlin Clark."It's something different to do, because there's not always stuff to do other than go out downtown or anything like that so it's really nice to be able to see a show outside when the weather is so nice."
Local residents say it is a source of pride that the arts are alive and well here, while they continue to disappear in many places throughout the country.
"I think exposing everyone to a different array of arts in the city of Syracuse, and I think the city tries to do that in many ways," said Syracuse Resident Christa Cavallo.
And as time moves on, the festival's goal will remain to encourage a passion for the arts in each new generation.
The festival continues on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and admission to all shows is free.
Remaining Show Times:
Thursday, August 16th: 5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 17th: 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 18th: 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 19th: 2 p.m.