FREEPORT — There will be an addition to the L.L. Bean summer concert series next month when Shakespeare takes to the stage.

The Freeport Shakespeare Festival will present “The Tempest” at Discovery Park, adding to the free musical offerings usually available to spectators.

Susan Garrett, the director of education and outreach for the festival, said the group has been working for two years to make this festival happen.

“This is going to be a really big production,” Garrett said. “There will be live musicians, a chorus and puppets from Figures of Speech.”

Julie George-Carlson, the producing artistic director, said Discovery Park is a perfect venue for Shakespeare.

All of the actors are local professionals or part of the Actors Equity Association, she said.

“The Tempest is so beautifully written, it is a masterpiece,” she said.

Keeping the performance free to the public means the organizers had to ask for assistance from local businesses and sponsors.

“We could not have done this without the support of L.L. Bean,” George-Carlson said. Other contributors include the University of Southern Maine, the Theater at Monmouth, and local restaurants that will offer box dinners based on characters from the play.

“We thought this would be great to host because it ties in well with our summer in the park series,” Greg Tucker, Bean’s retail promotions manager, said. “It’s going to be a great public performance, and we are looking forward to the four-night run.”

In addition to the free summer performance, George-Carlson said she is looking forward to being a visible member of the community in the future.

“We are committed to following up with a major educational component,” she said. With grants and outreach, she said the group wants to hold workshops at local schools, the PORT Teen Center and reach out to residents with an interest in the arts. She said shes expects the Freeport Shakespeare Festival to grow over the years.

“I feel so peaceful about the outcome of this because I’ve done my best and I trust that everyone who is involved will do their very best too,” she said. “This performance will add to the fabric of Freeport.”

The Tempest will run Tuesday, Aug. 3, through Friday, Aug. 6 at the L.L. Bean Discovery Park outdoor stage in downtown Freeport. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each night, but the audience is invited arrive early to enjoy strolling musicians starting at 6:30 p.m., welcoming remarks at 7 p.m. and a concert by the Greater Freeport Community Chorus at 7:10 p.m. 

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]

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Director Julie George-Carlson, left, and education and outreach Director Susan Garrett are looking forward to the four-night run of “The Tempest” at L.L. Bean Discovery Park beginning Aug. 3.

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