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Shakespeare (and Love) in the Park

Lawn Chair Theatre brings Shakespeare and love to Rye Town and Rye Brook parks.

It's Shakespeare in the Park with something extra- an opportunity for local couples to renew their marriage vows. Upcoming outdoor performances of The Bard's Much Ado About Nothing in and - as well as Lyon Park in Port Chester bring the timeless work to life with a decided touch of romance.  

Underwritten in part by the Port Chester Council of the Arts, the Lawn Chair Theatre company is bringing its talents to Rye Brook and Rye Town for performances in , and this coming weekend as well the following. 

Lawn Chair Theatre director Peter Green said the Lawn Chair Theatre company, now seven years old, has grown in a very 'organic' way. Green said, "It started as youth theater and the group has evolved to become multi-generational." Green said every age from teen to senior is represented.

Last year, the group performed "As You Like It" to the delight of Rye Brook audiences. This year's choice- Much Ado About Nothing- lent itself not only to the outdoor presentation format, but also the wedding renewals that will take place as part of the production.

Green admits he hopes the vow renewal ceremonies will increase interest and audiences for the performances, but also stressed the artistic synergy with the play. "This seemed to us like a very organic thing to do," said Green about the relationship to the themes of Much Ado About Nothing. "This particular one is about people getting over their fear of commitment and getting hurt. This is the major plot between Beatrice and Benedict."

So Green contacted local officials in Rye Brook, Port Chester and the Town of Rye. He was delighted that all three mayors agreed to participate. "They all jumped on it," said the director, who is also a wedding officiant.

Mayor Joan Feinstein will officiate at the Rye Brook performances Saturday, August 4 in Pine Ridge Park and Friday, August 10 in Crawford Park; Town Supervisor Joe Carvin will officiate at Rye Town Park, Friday, August 3. All performances begin at 5:45 pm. There will also be two performances in Lyon Park in Port Chester, August 9 and 11 at the same time.

Tickets for the performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Bring your own chairs and blankets.

Port Chester restaurant Cafe Mirage is offering a picnic basket dinner that can be purchased up to 48 hours before the performance and delivered to the park. 

Couples still have time to participate in the vow renewal ceremonies as well. Contact Peter Green here for more information.

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