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‘Shakespeare in the Pines’ benefits Highlands Center

The fourth annual “Shakespeare in the Pines” fundraising event on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, will feature “The Taming of the Shrew.”

The fourth annual “Shakespeare in the Pines” fundraising event on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, will feature “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Even the world’s greatest playwright William Shakespeare might get a thrill out of seeing one of his famous comedies performed in the serene beauty of the national forest just paces away from Lynx Lake.

For the fourth summer in a row, the Highlands Center for Natural History has teamed up with Laark Productions to do a “Shakespeare in the Pines” fundraising event on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24. This year’s production will be the Shakespeare comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew.”

The play written between 1590 and 1592 revolves around Petruchio, who is striving to court the headstrong “shrew” Katherina, going to great lengths, even deceit, to tame her into his idea bride. The show that has been transformed into the Broadway production, “Kiss Me Kate,” and the 1999 movie “10 Things I Hate About You.”

For this fundraising performance, the production company will offer a “fresh spin” on the “class-conscious” Edwardian Age tale that comes with a fair share of onstage antics and clever characters.

Tickets to the shows are $60 per person to include the performance and an earlier reception with catered appetizers from El Gato Azul as well as craft beers, wine, coffee and dessert. The proceeds from these tickets will go to support the center’s nature-based programs for children.

The center exists to offer children and adults the chance to discover and experience nature up close and personal. Started in 1996, the center is a science-based, nonprofit organization on an 80-acre campus off South Walker Road intended to showcase the natural wonders of the Central Highlands of Arizona. The center’s programs reach more than 15,000 children and adults each year.

Center membership coordinator Andrew Sweeney said the center’s amphitheater located in the picturesque, natural setting of Ponderosa pines is sure to be a treat for all attenders, offering a unique setting for such a classic performance. This will be the only time this summer that this live theater opportunity will be offered at the center, he noted.

The popularity of these shows ¬– the reception begins at 6 p.m. with the show scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. – makes online reservations a recommended choice: Prospective attenders can also contact the office at 928-776-9550.

Sweeney said it is expected the Saturday night show will be a sell-out.

All shows are rain or shine.

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