Shaking Up Shakespeare In Schroon

ADK Shakes Company Director Patrick Siler, with a mask from the upcoming kids production, Hercules

The Schroon performing art scene got an incredible boost three years ago, when a young company of talented actors established the Adirondack Shakespeare Company here.

From performing scenes in the Town Park, to breathing life into the long abandoned stage at Scaroon Manor, this little company that could, shook things up.

And along the way, they attracted a loyal fan base of kids and adults, with their unique approach to re-inventing the productions of Will Shakespeare, while maintaining their authenticity.

“It’s been a wonderful three years and we’ve loved the support everyone here has given us,” Tara Bradway, the company’s artistic director told Schroon Laker.

And in that time the company has grown and expanded its fan base. “We performed in Lake Placid last year for the first time and we are back there this year.”

The company is also performing in Saratoga, Ticonderoga, North Creek and Bolton Landing.

But the third season kicks off at “home” on Wednesday, at the Boathouse at 11am. ADK Shakes, as they are affectionately known, will be staging an original work, The Twelve Labors of Hercules, a children’s play written by Jessica Hackett.

“It’s Hercules, especially for kids. It’s a great Greek mystery and great adventure.”

“The characters of Octavius and Agrippa are quite compelling, and the journey of their friendship is going to be great fun to watch as it unfolds!”

ADK Shakes’ main stage season will begin on July 28 at the Boathouse Theater with the opening of Twelfth Night.

We caught up with Tara earlier this week, as she and company director Patrick Siler, were finishing off some of the masks that will be used in the play to transform the actors into Gods and Monsters.

If you have never had the chance to see an ADK production, you are missing out. The company’s productions are often referred to as “Shakespeare in the Raw”.

That refers to the company’s focus on the performance of the actors, with less attention applied to elaborate costumes or lighting and productions designs.

And their performances are world class. The actors are professionals who specialize in authentic Shakespeare productions.

More than 1,000 actors applied for a spot in this year’s company. By last fall, the list was down to 100 hopefuls who auditioned in New York before the final 12 were chosen.

Tara says this that based on what she has seen in the auditions, this year’s company could be one of the best yet.

“Not to be disparaging of previous years, that were all excellent, we are vey excited about the cast this year" Check back regularly on for more on the ADK Shakes season.

In addition to  Hercules and  Twelfth Night, the season will feature the paired presentation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s darkly comic modern take on the tale, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. You can book tickets on line here. For details on their full season, click here.