What do a tragedy, a comedy and friendship have in common?
The Shakespeare Walla Walla organization will blend Macbeth(that would be the tragedy), A Comedy of Errors (the comedy, of course), and Swansong (a tale about Shakespeare, friendship and rivalry) into a 10-day festival of fun.
Macbeth opens the Shakespeare Walla Walla Summer Festival on Aug. 3 and runs through Aug. 7. For those unfamiliar with the tale, it's the angst-ridden journey of a good man seduced by witchcraft, ambition and a deviously persuasive wife.
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Next up will be Comedy of Errors from Aug. 10-14. Both plays will be held at the outdoor Fort Walla Walla Amphitheater, 755 Myra Road. This is one of Shakespeare's first plays, and it's packed with all sorts of slapstick, catchy humor and clever word play.
The story centers around two sets of identical twins who were separated at birth. When the four run into each other as young men, all sorts of chaos follows, mostly due to mistaken identities.
The third featured play, Swansong, will be an indoor production Aug. 4-6 and 9-14 at the Power House Theatre, 111 Sixth St., in downtown Walla Walla.
Swansong isn't one of Shakespeare's plays, but it involves him.
It was written by Patrick Page, a New York playwright, who was born in Spokane but grew up in Monmouth, Ore. He also earned his bachelor's degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla.
Page tells the fictitious tale of real life playwright Ben Jonson who had a rivalrous love/hate relationship with his friend William Shakespeare.
When Will dies, Jonson is asked to write a dedication for the first compilation of Shakespeare's plays to be published.
But jealousy causes Jonson to struggle with the request.
There's a bit of comedy threaded through the story, but as one critic with The Seattlest online publication explains, "It's really the same old story of one man with a bitter past, forever trapped in the shadow of his more talented and famous friend."
All shows will be performed by actors with the Seattle Shakespeare Company.
For a complete list of performances with dates and times and ticket prices, go to shakespearewallawalla.org or call 509-742-0739.