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The Bard comes to Basalt

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After a 12-year run in Aspen, the Hudson Reed Ensemble is moving Shakespeare in the Park to Basalt this summer.

HRE Artistic Director Kent Reed said the move was a year in the making and was necessary because of the loss of rehearsal and performance space in Aspen.

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“I have spent most of my creative life in Aspen and leaving is like leaving home and starting afresh. But leaving home is a growth experience and I am so pleased that the town of Basalt has opened its arms to us and we are very excited to become a part of Basalt’s vibrant and growing arts community.”

The Ensemble will be performing in Midland Park adjacent to the Basalt Regional Library in Old Town Basalt.

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“It’s a small, intimate park nestled alongside the river making it ideal for our Shakespeare productions,” Reed explained.

The company will perform a series of three scenes from three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: “Richard III,” “The Taming of The Shrew” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

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“Richard III” introduces England’s Wars of the Roses, while “The Taming of the Shrew” is set in Deadwood, South Dakota with Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok and “Romeo and Juliet” is takes place in renaissance Italy

The hour-long evening of scenes in Midland Park mirrors the birth and first season of Shakespeare in the Park in Aspen.

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“Just as in Aspen twelve years ago, we wanted to initiate folks unacquainted with Shakespeare to gain an appreciation of his work through these bite- sized, easy to digest, samples of his work.” said Reed.

Cast members include Chris Wheatley, Talulah Marolt, Naomi Havlen, Rodrigo Perez and Kent Reed.

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Performances are at 7 p.m. July 12, 13, 14, 19 and 21. People are encouraged to bring a picnic.