‘The Merchant of Venice’ comes to life

If you’re looking for something different to do on the weekends of Sept. 7, 8, 9, and 14, 15, 16, perhaps consider  a visit to the St. Marys Shakespeare Festival. For these six nights in September a volunteer cast and crew will be performing some of the great epics written by the Playwright himself William Shakespeare. Founded by three friends in the Fall of 2018, Shakespeare Under the Stars, as it has become known, features more than just the time honored tradition of a live action viewing of the classics of Shakespeare, the festival also hosts to several vendors who sell food, drinks, and trinkets appropriate to the theme.

For this year, volunteers at the festival will be performing the Merchant of Venice, a play about a merchant living in Venice who owes money to a Jewish moneylender, but cannot pay back his debts. The play is believed to have been written between the years of 1596 and 1599 and it explores themes of religion, friendship, and the difficulties that come when money gets in between them.

The ticket prices for the event are $12-per person, with an upper limit for families of $60, and the ticket is good until the event is over, meaning that you need only to pay once for entry into the festival for all six days. The festival will open its gates every night at 5:00 p.m. and the play will begin at 6:30 p.m. each night as well, during the play there will be a 20 minute intermission during the play as it is two and half hours long. It is recommended that you come to see the play on a different night than you go to the actual village and see the vendors, in order to fully enjoy both experiences.

It is also recommended that you dress with the weather in mind as it may grow chilly on the night you attend, and you will need to take your own seating to the festival, such as lawn chairs and perhaps a blanket for that potential chill. If you do forget to bring something to sit on, you can rent some seating for $5 a night.

The address for the festival is 28058 Mt Calvary Rd, St Marys, KS 66536 and more directions and information for the festival can be found at their website, Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival.com.