Mountain Shakes Offers Last Glimpse at Something Special

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Photos and notes by Patric Hedlund

If you are a fan of the living art of theater, or if you want to gain insight into what makes the Mountain Communities an extraordinary place to live and work, you really do want to book a couple of tickets for the final performance this week of the Mountain Shakespeare Festival playing in the Pine Mountain Village gazebo.

The modern comedy Bullshot Crummond is a beautifully produced farce played with comic precision by expert actors. You’ll experience pain from the laughter, but you’ll love it, as will your guests. You can see it Friday, July 22 and it closes the festival on Saturday, July 23.

Romeo and Juliet closes on Thursday, July 21. If you saw it early in the month, go again.

You’ll have a chance to see a marvelous evolution of the characters played by local students Sam Greer (Romeo) and Delaney Peterson (Juliet), framed by the extraordinary work of Michelle Morain as Juliet’s witty and wily nanny and David Stenstrom as Juliet’s father.

Stenstrom’s thundering portrayal of a father disowning his child in retaliation for her defiance of his plans for her future is heart-wrenching, transcending 350 years of human experience to allow Shakespeare’s work to touch the core of modern parents’ frustration with impetuous youth.

The Mountain Shakespeare Festival has done something else that is notable with this production.

When the schools began descending into budget crisis, drama and enrichment clubs and courses were dropped.

This group, led by Peter Kjenaas, Kat Fair, Michelle Morain, with David and Maxine Stenstrom and Holly Van Houten, stepped forward to enlist 19 local school children into an acting troupe that they have nurtured and trained for four months. It was an extraordinary gift to the community, and one which deserves a standing ovation for achieving such elegant results.

Tickets are $12 with discounts for students and seniors. You can go to www. or call 242-6904 to reserve your seats.

This is part of the July 22, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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