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4 things to know about the Houston Shakespeare Festival

1616: English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, dies at the age of 52 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. His tragic plays written in the early 1600s, including "Hamlet," "King Lear," "Othello" and "Macbeth," are considered some of the finest works in the English language. This date in 1564 is also traditionally observed as Shakespeare's birthday, although his actual date of birth remains unknown. He was also born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized there on April 26, 1564.
1616: English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, dies at the age of 52 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. His tragic plays written in the early 1600s, including "Hamlet," "King Lear," "Othello" and "Macbeth," are considered some of the finest works in the English language. This date in 1564 is also traditionally observed as Shakespeare's birthday, although his actual date of birth remains unknown. He was also born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptized there on April 26, 1564. (National Portrait Gallery, London via Wikimedia Commons)

HOUSTON – Hear ye! Hear ye!

The Houston Shakespeare Festival put on by the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance  is coming to town Friday through Aug. 11. 

The shows will be taking place at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. 

Here are four things you should know about the festival: 

1. The Houston Shakespeare Festival was started in 1975 by Dr. Sidney Berger, who was then the director of the School of Theatre and Dance. The collaboration between the university and the city has continued each summer; and the department continues to put on free plays at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 

2. On Aug. 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, the play “Julius Caesar” will be performed. According to the School of Theatre and Dance, “Julius Caesar returns as a glorious war hero, and the people’s victory celebration spills into the streets. But whispers of opposition grow. Civic duty wrestles with political ambition in Houston Shakespeare Festival’s fast and furious production of 'Julius Caesar-' HSF Artistic Director Jack Young directs this tale of betrayal and secrecy in a contemporary world.”

3. On Aug. 3, 7, 9 and 11, the play “As You Like It” will be performed. According to the School of Theatre and Dance, “Adventure! Romance! Mistaken identity! An escape to the Forest of Arden takes lovers and madcaps on a hilarious journey in Houston Shakespeare Festival’s production of 'As You Like It-' Director Stephanie Shine transports audiences into the heart of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.”

4. While guests are welcome at Miller Outdoor Theatre for free, with a donation of $60 or more, guests can enjoy premium seats. According to the School of Theatre and Dance, donations help support- “artists’ wages, designers and technical staff, purchase of costume and craft materials along with wigs and stage weaponry, and education outreach.” 

For more information, click here