Excerpt from Chico News & Review (article by Ken Smith)
There is a tradition dating back decades of the Bard’s works being performed in Bidwell Park, overseen by generations of local thespians and multiple theater companies. Shakespeare’s last appearance in the park was in 2019, when then-new company Legacy Stage produced Macbeth, with the intent of making Shakespeare in the Park an annual event. Then COVID came along.
Legacy Stage is returning to the park in June with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play will be directed by Erin Horst, who is also a Legacy Stage co-founder and president of the theater company’s board of directors.
The troupe’s last show in the park was an ambitious and (literally) moving production, which took place at various locations around Cedar Grove and adjacent natural areas. Small audiences went with the players from location to location, lighting the action with handheld flashlights. The route covered roughly two miles and had attendees on their feet for roughly two hours, and any exertion did nothing to dampen praise for the event, which the CN&R described as “nothing short of a revelation—one of the most gratifying theatrical experiences.”
Horst said this year’s main setup will be more traditional but that overall there will be several elements making Legacy’s production completely unique.
“This time they’ll be sitting on blankets and chairs and the action will surround them and go through them,” Horst said. “As fun as the moving version was, it led to smaller audience sizes, and we want this to be accessible and easy for all to attend.”