Heartland Actors’ third Shakespeare on the Canal production, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, was again performed in conjunction with the White River State Park Family Arts Series. Directed by Michael Shelton, the cast included company members Phebe Taylor, Robert Neal, Ryan Artzberger, Sam Fain, and also featured Adriano Gatto, Adam Crowe, Chris Hatch, David Mosedale, Audrey Bertaux-Skeirik, Alex Raby, Michael Hosp, Laurence Brown, R. Brian Noffke, and Casper the dog. Laura Glover was the lighting designer; costumes by Kathleen Egan. Shakespeare on the Canal was expanded to three performances in 2010, and attracted over 3,000 audience members.
HART’s annual Shakespeare production in White River State Park makes wonderful use of the park’s commodious yet remarkably intimate amphitheater. Saturday night’s performance was well-attended, indicating that the makings are here for the emergence of a new Indianapolis tradition. This is the kind of program the city should embrace with both arms, finding the funding to enable HART to produce not just a single play, but a summer season. Nuvo Newsweekly
The production flowed vigorously in both word and action. The intricate wit of much of the dialogue — even the clownish servants Launce (Ryan Artzberger) and Speed (R. Brian Noffke) are wordsmiths — was spirited in delivery, with unflagging attention to generating laughter. Indianapolis Star
To see Shakespeare staged in such a public way elicits images of original stagings in London’s Globe Theatre, where the rowdy audience conversed with each other and the actors on stage all the way through the performance. Luckily, the crowd at White River was not quite so active. But to see joggers and people walking their dogs or their kids happen upon live theatre in a very public place, stand to catch a few scenes and walk away discussing what they heard, or better yet to sit down and enjoy the rest of the show is priceless. The tickets may be free, but the experience is worth every penny in the world. Funcityfinder.com