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Experience Shakespeare under the stars at Akron's Stan Hywet Hall

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If you are looking to add a little culture to your life or to your family's life, here's a suggestion. And the best part is that you can do it while sitting under the stars of a summer sky on the grounds of a historic country estate. Just make plans to attend a performance of the Ohio Shakespeare Festival being held at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio starting July 3. Akron is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.

Ohio Shakespeare Festival The first play being offered at the 14th annual Ohio Shakespeare Festival is "Twelfth Night." Presented July 3 - 6, July 10-13 and July 17-20, this Shakespeare comedy tells the story of a cross-dressing, ship-wreck surviving, poetry-loving girl who finds herself at the center of an unusual love triangle.

Shakespeare's historic play "Henry IV, Part I" about the reign of King Henry IV will be presented July 31-August 3, August 7-10 and August 14-17.

All performances will take place in an outdoor theater in the Lagoon area of Stan Hywet Hall. Chairs are provided for guests. Feel free to arrive early (Gates open at 6 p.m.) and walk the grounds to see the spectacular gardens of the estate or to have a picnic.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol to Stan Hywet but you will be able to purchase beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee and tea in addition to sandwiches and snacks at the concession stand near the Lagoon.

Reserved seats for the performances are $30 per person. Open seats are $25 per person and seats for students are $15. All ticket sales are being handled by the Ohio Shakespeare Festival. Get online at www.ohioshakespeare.com to purchase tickets. It is recommended that you purchase the tickets in advance as this is a very popular event.

The estate grounds open at 6 p.m. for picnics. Make sure you arrive before 7:30 p.m. when the front gate closes. Greenshow (a pre-performance opening act) starts at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Be sure to dress appropriately for weather as this is an outdoor theater.

A Bit About Stan Hywet Hall Named for the Old English words for "hewn stone,"this 65-room Tutor style mansion was built in 1912 by Goodyear Rubber Company founder F.A. Seiberling and his wife, Gertrude. Designed after several British mansions by Cleveland architect Charles Sumner Schneider, the mansion took 4 years to complete at a cost of $150,000. Today, Stan Hywet Hall is a National Historic Landmark.

For more information about the Ohio Shakespeare Festival or about Stan Hywet Hall you can get online at www.stanhywet.org or www.ohioshakespeare.com.

Stan Hywet Hall is located at 714 N. Portage Path in Akron, Ohio. It is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.

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