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Summer Shakespeare Returns to Agawam Park

"Love's Labor's Lost" and "The Tempest" to play in the park this Friday and Saturday for free.

Photo from 2011's performance of "Othello."
Photo from 2011's performance of "Othello."

Hip To Hip, a Queens-based nonprofit theater company, is coming to Southampton Village this Friday and Saturday for free outdoor performances.

The company, which was founded in 2007, takes its name from a line in William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Over the last six years, the company has expanded its performance range, and has even begun to receive funding from New York City, but has never wavered from its commitment to free outdoor performances of Shakespeare's plays. This will be their seventh year of performing in Southampton at Agawam Park. Hip to Hip's theater season has grown to a two-play, twelve-park annual tour.

This year’s performances are Love’s Labor's Lost on Friday and The Tempest on Saturday.

Love’s Labor’s Lost, dating from the 1590s, is one of Shakespeare’s early comedies, telling the story of the King of Navarre and his noblemen who attempt to swear off women and devote themselves to scholarship, only to have a princess and her ladies-in-waiting arrive. According to Hip To Hip, it’s a “screwball romantic comedy. Shakespeare takes wordplay and wit to dizzying heights.”

The Tempest, as the company describes it, “Shakespeare's final masterpiece,” tells the story of a deposed duke on a desert island who has become a mighty sorcerer. Using magic, he raises a storm to bring all of his enemies within his grasp. According to Hip to Hip, “Half romance, half political thriller, [The Tempest] has it all: a shipwreck, conspiracy, magic, monsters and love at first sight.”

Both plays will be performed free to the public, and will begin at 7:30 p.m. The run time for both Love’s Labor’s Lost and The Tempest is around 90 minutes. The audience is advised to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and possibly a picnic.

Thirty minutes before the performances, children in the audience are invited to participate in a series of theater games and fun introductions to the plays to help them better appreciate the plots.

For more information visit www.hiptohip.org

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