July 20, 2015 Buffalo, NY Weather was not always cooperative for Shakespeare In Delaware Parks performances of ROMEO AND JULIET, however we are pleased to report reaching record breaking crowds for the closing week with perfect Buffalo weather conditions. SDP continues to celebrate their 40th Anniversary season of FREE Shakespeare with the second summer offering of TWELFTH NIGHT.  This romantic comedy features a star studded all male cast including Tim Newell, Norm Sham, Chris Hatch, PJ Tighe and Greg Gjurich.  Director Steve Vaughan will bring this humorous tale of mistaken identities to life opening July 23rd.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park reaches over 40,000 audience members each season and is proud to be celebrating 40 amazing years of high-quality professional theatre that remains FREE to the public. TWELFTH NIGHT runs July 23rd –August 16th. Performances are held every evening (except Mondays) at 7:30 p.m.  Shows take place on Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park, next to Hoyt Lake behind the Rose Garden, off Lincoln Parkway near the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Further information may be obtained at or by calling (716) 856-4533. Or like us on facebook at

Viola and Olivia

Shakespeare in Delaware Park celebrates 40th summer season

Photo by Christopher Scinta
Photo by Christopher Scinta

By: Lauren Kirchmyer

When you think of William Shakespeare, what comes to mind? “Tradition,” said Lisa Ludwig managing director and sometimes actress at Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

Though much of his work was created in the late 1500s and early 1600s, Shakespeare’s work continues to be read and discussed throughout the world today. But according to Ludwig, Shakespeare is meant to be seen and heard, not read.

“It’s one of those things people have to experience for themselves,” Ludwig explained. “People from high school are daunted by Shakespeare, but if you watch you’ll have a new understanding of it. That’s what makes it so special.”

This summer, Buffalonians will have the opportunity to experience two of Shakespeare’s more familiar works – “Romeo and Juliet” and “Twelfth Night.”

The tragedy of star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet will be performed through July 12. “It’s going really well,” Ludwig said about the performances thus far. “It’s a favorite of people because they are familiar with it. They feel they can relate to it.”

But Ludwig is especially excited the comedy “Twelfth Night” is part of the organization’s 40th summer season. “In our 40 years we never did an all-male version of a show,” she said. Back in Shakespeare’s time, only male actors performed his works, including the multiple female roles. “We thought doing an all-male version would be an exciting way to celebrate.”

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. “There’s nothing like being outdoors in the beautiful Olmstead Park,” Ludwig said. “To look out at the stars speaking words of Shakespeare, it’s quite exhilarating. There’s nothing quite like it.”

And Ludwig finds families returning year after year. “It becomes a tradition for people. It’s like a community picnic,” she said. “Sometimes it’s someone’s first, or only, experience with theater because it’s all they can afford.”

Though the performances are free, the organization recently launched an annual campaign. At each show, spectators will have the opportunity to donate towards the $1.3 million stage that will, hopefully, go up next summer.

“We’ve had the stage for 20 years, so it’s made of things used 20 years ago such as very heavy steel,” Ludwig shared. “After years of wear and tear the pieces don’t quite fit together like they used to.”

The new stage will be easier to take down and put up, and will give the directors three different configurations to work with for each show. The campaign will also expand space for dressing rooms, concessions, on-site equipment, prop storage and more. According to the campaign’s brochure, the project will improve the overall experience for the audience, actors and crew members.

To learn more about the 40th summer season of Shakespeare in the Park or their campaign, call 856-4533 or visit

Lauren Kirchmyer is the entertainment reporter for If you have a story idea, please email her at

Forever Young – Buffalo Spree

Forever Young – Buffalo Spree

Enjoying Life Over 50 in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Linda meets with Peter Palmisano, who plays as Lord Capulet in Shakespeare in Delaware Park, and April Diodato, the managing editor of Forever Young.

To keep up to date with the Forever Young series, keep reading Buffalo Spree.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park – Campaign for New Stage

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Peter Palmisano and Lisa Ludwig (she plays as Lady Capulet) talk with Linda about a capital campaign for a new stage and try to raise it to $1.3 million.

“Romeo & Juliet” will play until July 12th for Shakespeare in Delaware Park.

Shakespeare In Delaware Park and it’s Founder Saul Elkin Improving With Age

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – It is the nation’s second largest Shakespeare festival and continues improving with age, just like it’s founder Saul Elkin. Saul was encouraged to start this annual event in 1976 by his friend and teacher Joseph Papp. Papp was the founder of New York City’s Shakespeare in Central Park.

The annual outdoor Summer theatre event has evolved into a crowd pleaser for people of all ages. Saul describes it this way “this is a wonderful community picnic at which a play happens to be going on” .

Saul is appearing in this season’s first production, Romeo & Juliet-and at age 83 he says it’s a little tougher but “it’s really my heart, what I love to do”

There is a capital campaign underway to fund a new stage by next season. Saul Elkin is responsible for Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s past, still a player in the present and making big plans to insure it’s future.

More info about this season at their website, click here.

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