“In fair Riverside, where we lay our scene”….
I went last night with a friend to see the first night of the fall edition of Wichita Shakespeare Company’s Troilus and Cressida at Riverside Park. Go see it. Ars longa, vita breva. The story is of two young lovers caught in the midst of war and betrayal and uncertainty. In other words, what Shakespeare always writes on, and always does better than anyone else. Life itself, two hours traffic on the stage! I thought it was so good, I am going to go again in two weeks or so when it moves to College Hill Park. We had a picnic dinner and we were not the only ones, and with a blanket and folding chairs, the show was just perfect.
And now with fall officially here, or at least that cooler weather that is autumn’s beautiful trademark theme in Wichita, the nights are perfect for it! Even last night in the mid-90s it was fine with a soft end of summer breeze and some shade for the first half of the play or so in trees, and as darkness fell the players stood out all the more with the stage’s soft lights!
It was great. I had read parts of the play but never the whole thing, and had never seen it performed. Part tragedy and part comedy and mostly satire, it is a reflection of the futility of war. Set in Troy and the Greek camps on the plain between the citadel and the sea, it is a nuanced re-reading of the chivalry and its breakdowns between the warring Greeks and Trojans and artfully done. I had not realized how much Shakespeare changed from the original in Homer’s Iliad, and of course in the bard’s masterly way, does perfect justice to his theme.
Here is the schedule, coming to a park near you! Check out the great parks we have on offer here in Wichita, and see some really great acting:
Friday Sept 2 – Central Riverside Park
Saturday Sept 3 – College Hill Park
Sunday Sept 4 – Andover Sports Park, Andover
Friday Sept 9 – Buffalo Park
Saturday Sept 10 – Hap McLean Park, Park City
Sunday Sept 11 – Riggs Park, Haysville
Friday Sept 16 – Central Riverside Park
Saturday Sept 17 – College Hill Park
Sunday Sept 18 – High Park Amphitheatre, Derby
All shows begin at 700pm and the play last night went slightly over two hours, no intermissions.
For full information: