NEW LONDON — Flock Theatre will be expanding its 25-year tradition of outdoor Shakespeare performances by venturing into Wilcox Park this summer, in a new partnership with the Westerly Library.

The company plans to present Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors," from June 27 through July 7 (excluding July 4) and Sophocles’ "Oedipus Rex," July 11 through the 21.

"The Comedy of Errors," is a hilarious romp involving a pair of twins and their servants, also twins, who had been separated at birth. Upon meeting, a series of mishaps due to constant mistaken identities lead to farcical beatings, seduction, false accusations, and an arrest. It is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s finest and funniest comedies.

"Oedipus Rex" is Sophocles’ tragic epic detailing the fall of Oedipus, king of Thebes. A plague on the city of Thebes can only be stopped if the murderer of its previous king is found. Oedipus slowly finds out that he has unwittingly fulfilled a dark prophecy, and that he may be the man he is looking for - presented beautifully with Flock’s signature larger-than-life body puppets. Both plays will be presented simultaneously at Wilcox Park and the Connecticut College Arboretum.

In other Flock news, the company will hold a second round of auditions on March 10 at the Thames Club in downtown New London. A selection of the shows to be cast are as follows, but auditionees will also be considered for various other projects:

"Pride and Prejudice," adapted by Jon Jory, is a play adaptation of Jane Austen’s Regency era romance novel which explores the importance of marrying for love at a time when society is pressuring young women to find profitable suitors. The story follows Mr. Bennet and his five unmarried daughters, focusing specifically on Elizabeth as she and the wealthy Mr. Darcy navigate their attraction. The play will run at the Shaw Mansion in downtown New London from May 10- 26.

Also being produced this summer is Michael Bradford’s "A Song of Bones," a play Flock commissioned Bradford to write after learning of the life of an African American soothsayer named Lil the Black who lived in New London, during the 1700s. Flock has mounted this play in the past, but new info from a 1790 census regarding northern household slaves is driving Flock to reexamine this piece, hopefully opening the eyes of those who engage with the piece in a way that resonates with contemporary racial struggles.

To schedule an audition slot, please call Flock Theatre at 860-443-3119 or email at flocktheatre@hotmail.com.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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