Arts and Entertainment

Shakespeare Festival this week

The Shakespeare Festival will launch this week. - Colleen Smith Armstrong/Staff photo
The Shakespeare Festival will launch this week.
— image credit: Colleen Smith Armstrong/Staff photo

The Shakespeare Festival will launch this week.

There will be performances, vendors and food at the Village Green, a parade through Eastsound and lots of costumes.

Now in its third year, the chamber-sponsored Shakespeare Festival is from March 19 to 22.

First on the lineup is an “Orcas Tribute to Shakespeare” at Random Howse on Wednesday, March 19 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the chamber, Office Cupboard or online at Participants can purchase wine and food at the venue.

Martin Lund will kick off the evening that includes local musicians presenting period pieces and actors performing works by Shakespeare.

On Thursday, March 20,  Sazio di Notte is hosting a fundraising dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. with the Seattle Shakespeare Company and Dr. Ayanna Thompson, a  world-renowned Shakespeare expert and professor at George Washington University.

Dinner is $125 and includes wine. The menu is Ceci con gramberi (warm chick peas with prawns), panzanella (Tuscan grilled bread salad, tagliatelle pastore (Shepherd’s pasta), and polenta al forno (baked polenta with cauliflower and Gorgonzola), cinghiale (wild boar), tiramisu. To attend, call the chamber at 376-2273, Sazio at 376-6394 or the Office Cupboard at 376-2378.

The festival is partnering with Orcas Crossroads to bring Thompson to the island. She will present “Othello in the 21st Century: To Perform or Not to Perform?” at 7:30 p.m. at Orcas Center on Friday, March 21.

Tickets are $10 and available at Darvill’s Bookstore, online at or at the door. Some complimentary tickets are available in advance at the Orcas Senior Center.

On Friday, March 21, The Seattle Shakespeare Company, which is performing for Orcas High School in the daytime,  will present “Romeo and Juliet” at Random Howse at 6 p.m. The dinner theatre event will open with period music by Jeffrey Cohen. Tickets are $15 at the chamber, Office Cupboard or

On the last day of the festival, Saturday, March 22, Eastsound will come alive with the sights and sounds of the Elizabethan period.

A colorful parade will gather at Ace Hardware and move along North Beach Road starting at 11 a.m. Festival Director Robert Hall has arranged for acts from the Bellingham Circus Guild and former Cirque du Soleil performers like stilt walkers and fire breathers as well as local performers to participate. For those who would like to sign up beforehand, contact the chamber office; otherwise, just show up on the day.

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., there will be food and crafts vendors on the Village Green. Paul Freedman is again playing the Bard.

Entertainment includes Spring Street School students performing “The Tempest,” music from Almost Classical, Orcas High School Strings, Stormy Hildreth and Sasha Hagen, puppetry from Sarah Mikolowsky, games like croquette, shuttle cock and face painting and more. Chess expert Phil Heikkinen will play all comers simultaneously, with up to 20 boards available at a time. He will give away chess books or magazines to anyone who can win or draw-and if any copies are left, will hand them out at the end of the exhibition. There will also be booths from nonprofits.

The Seattle Shakespeare Company will close the festival with a performance of “Othello” at Orcas Center on Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 at


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