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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ JANELLE JESSEN Demetrius (Flex Coreas), left, speaks to Helena (Liesl Dromi) as Fairy King Oberon (Victor Pongonis) listens thoughtfully during a rehearsal for William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Siloam Springs Center for the Arts is bringing Shakespeare to the Chautauqua Amphitheater in Memorial Park on June 22.

The art center and city are working together to present a free family-friendly performance of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 8 p.m. as part of the Roy Chesney Arts Appreciation Series. Festivities, including musicians and a costume photo booth, will begin at 6 p.m.

The timing and outdoor setting in the new park are ideal for the play, which was originally written to take place in the woods on the summer solstice on June 21, according to director Jan Lauderdale, who is also an SSCA board member. The city was able to schedule the play for the following day, she says.

One of Siloam Springs Center for the Arts' goals is to bring more culture to the west Benton County community through theater and the arts, according to Lauderdale. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is an ideal play to introduce Shakespeare to audiences because the comedy includes lots of action to help illustrate the 17th century language, she says.

"We've chosen an abridged version of the original script which is about an hour in length," she says. "It presents the same story and language in a manner that is easier for introducing Shakespeare to those who are unfamiliar with his works and still enjoyable to his devotees."

Twenty-one actors from Siloam Springs, Bentonville and Fayetteville are participating in the production, Lauderdale says.

SSCA was established in August 2018 to offer new opportunities for community members to view and participate in the arts through gallery displays, theater productions, presentations and classes, according to a press release from the organization. More information about SSCA and upcoming events is available at

-- Janelle Jessen


‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

WHEN — 8 p.m. June 22

WHERE — Chautauqua Amphitheater in Memorial Park, Siloam Springs

COST — Free


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