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Darien Arts Center Stages 'Shakespeare And The Heart’s Desire'

The Darien Arts Center will stage "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," a play about a true event of political intrigue in Shakespeare's life. Pictured are the performers.
The Darien Arts Center will stage "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," a play about a true event of political intrigue in Shakespeare's life. Pictured are the performers. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Wyant

DARIEN, Conn. -- At a time when American politics are playing out on stage, the Darien Arts Center is bringing audiences back to the politics and intrigue of the Elizabethan period.

"Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," a play written by Mary Jane Schaefer and the third part of Schaefer’s trilogy based on the life of Shakespeare, is being brought to life in a one-night staged reading at the Darien Arts Center.

Mark Graham will direct this tale of intrigue Saturday at 8 p.m. Graham previously directed the DAC production of "God of Carnage." In "Shakespeare and the Heart’s Desire," Schaefer explores the backstory and little-known life of Shakespeare, the man, his love and his politics. It uncovers the political side of Shakespeare and tells of an amazing and true event: his dangerous involvement in a plot to overthrow the throne of England.

The audience will get a peek at Shakespeare's politics: the power and magic hidden in the plays of William Shakespeare, which were strong enough to shake the foundations of the British monarchy, to incite riots and inspire a revolution. Schaefer’s previous works, which also uncovered largely unknown slices of Shakespeare’s life, 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 National Arts Club.

The DAC production boasts a veteran cast that includes Larry Reina, John O’Hern, Damian Langan, Tom Zingarelli, Allan Zeller, Joe Maker, Richard Weidlich, Scott Bruno, Betty Jinnette, Emilie Roberts and Marca Leigh.

Reservations are not necessary for the performance, which has a suggested donation of $10. The DAC is at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Darien Town Hall.

For more information, visit the DAC website or call 203-655-8683.

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