Shakespeare at Sylvester Manor

Last year's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"  (Credit: Beverlea Walz)

Last year’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Credit: Beverlea Walz)

In what has become into a summer tradition, Shakespeare at the Manor returns to Shelter Island this weekend for its 4th production on Sylvester Manor’s expansive lawn.

This year the manor will produce one of the Bard’s early comedies, “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

The play is directed by actor and director Drew Foster, fresh off his appearance on Broadway in the musical “Dr. Zhivago.” Foster said making the transition from actor to director is not a difficult hurdle.

“When you direct, 75 percent of it is being organized, kind of like herding cats,” Foster joked. “The challenges of an outdoor production are what push me to be even more creative. We get to use the manor, the grounds and the trees as scenery. That turns it into a 360-degree experience because the play happens around you. Nothing beats doing Shakespeare when there are fire flies.”

To Foster as well as the cast and crew, performing on Shelter Island is less of a job and more like a reunion.

“It’s our largest cast ever, 17 in all and 14 of those are returning” Foster said. “Many are Juilliard, NYU and Denver Center alumnis. It’s a testament to the cast that they enjoy performing here so much that so many of them want to come back.”

A big part of that desire to return is the warm reception they receive from Shelter Islanders said Foster. “Residents open up their homes to us, they feed us and they take care of us. It’s part of what makes the experience so great for us as performers.”

Performances for “Love’s Labours Lost” will take place on Saturday August 22 and Sunday August 23. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin promptlyat 6:30 p.m. Be sure to bring a blanket or low-profile beach chairs for seating, as well as bug spray. Disabled and hearing impaired seating is available (requests must be made at admissions).

Sylvester Manor is located at 80 North Ferry Road on Shelter Island.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $10 for students and free for children under 10 years. There is a $60 cap for families of five or more. To purchase tickets please click here.

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The audience at last year's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"  (Credit: Beverlea Walz)

The audience at last year’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Credit: Beverlea Walz)