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Darien Arts Center Stage Marks 400th Anniversary Of Shakespeare’s Death

In recognition of the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, DAC Stage is producing "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," directed by Mark Graham.
In recognition of the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, DAC Stage is producing "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," directed by Mark Graham. Photo Credit: Contributed
DAC Stage is producing "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," a play written by Mary Jane Schaefer. Pictured is acclaimed director Graham, and veteran actors Damien Langan, Tom Zingarelli, Richard Weidlich, Marca Leigh and Scott Bruno.
DAC Stage is producing "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," a play written by Mary Jane Schaefer. Pictured is acclaimed director Graham, and veteran actors Damien Langan, Tom Zingarelli, Richard Weidlich, Marca Leigh and Scott Bruno. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Wyant

DARIEN, Conn. – In recognition of the 400-year legacy of Shakespeare’s work, critically acclaimed director Mark Graham returns to the Darien Arts Center with “Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire” on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.

The one-night staged reading portrays a tale of intrigue based on real political events involving Shakespeare in a plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. “Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire,” written by Mary Jane Schaefer, is being produced for the first time by DAC stage.

“Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire,” the third part of a trilogy by Schaefer, explores the little known life of Shakespeare, the man, his love and his politics. It uncovers his political side and tells of an amazing and true event: his dangerous involvement in a plot to overthrow the Throne of England.

Graham has received glowing reviews from critics and audiences, as well as a nomination for best director of a play in the On Stage Critic Awards for the recent DAC stage production of “God of Carnage.” He has served on the boards of Playhouse on the Green and the Westport Country Playhouse, and is a former president and board member of The Theatre Artists Workshop. He was longtime producing partner of the late Tony Award-winning producer Lester Osterman, and was general manager of Lucille Lortel's White Barn Theater in Westport. He is also one of the founding members of the Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport.

“It is very gratifying to direct this exciting work. It is full of surprises and romance, while capturing the political climate of the time. And, it gives us an inside look at an unknown side of Shakespeare, his life and his loves,” said Graham.

Schaefer’s previous works in the trilogy have received critical acclaim with the first of the series honored by the New American Playwrights Project and produced at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in 2014. Both were performed at Manhattan's prestigious National Arts Club.

Suggested donation is $10; reservations are not required.

The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Darien Town Hall. Click here for more information or call (203) 655-8683.

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