Shakespeare in the Park opens on June 1


Stone Soup Shakespeare returns to Twin Lakes Park with a free performance of Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night” 6 p.m. near the pavilion.

A new feature this year is an afternoon children’s theatrical workshop before the evening performance. Actors from the Stone Soup Shakespeare troupe will lead third through eighth grade students in a workshop that gives the children an opportunity to act like a star. The workshop is 1 p.m. at the Paris Public Library.

Stone Soup Shakespeare tours throughout the Midwest, bringing Shakespeare in the Park to communities for free from May to July. The tour officially opened May 3 in Ava and travels throughout Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin.

This season’s actors hail from Chicago, St. Louis and Carbondale. The actors work in residence at Carbondale for the second half of April, taking the script from page to stage. The company purposefully keeps the ensemble for its touring shows small, creating a frenetic energy in production as the actors swap hats and characters in the role-doubling that takes place.

“Twelfth Night” is Shakespeare’s classic tale of twins shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria, both imagining the other drowned, and Stone Soup Shakespeare has set it in a world inspired by fame and the fantastical spectacle of David Bowie’s music. The ensemble of six has created a Bowie-inspired musical landscape and dance, while crafting a story that is easy to follow, using Shakespeare’s language, simple props and the setting of the park.

In keeping with the spirit of the children’s story “Stone Soup,” from which the company takes its name, audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the free public performance. The collected food will be donated to the local food pantry.

In addition to bringing food to donate, the audience is encouraged to bring their own picnics to share with friends and family while enjoying the evening of entertainment and community.

Audience members should also bring something to sit on.

Shakespeare in the Park is presented by Paris Public Library, the Paris Park Board, and Friends of the Paris Library. If rain, the performance will be under the park pavilion.

For more information, call 217-463-3950 or visit