The NY Times and Boston Globe featured, award-winning Theatre Under The Stars’ Family Fest returns to Waterville Valley, NH Aug 10-24th. Inspired by the 2010 loss of their first youth camper, Marc Paul Decoteau, who was killed in Afghanistan while serving with the US Army, they are the only professional theater in the United States to perform free/pay what you can in honor of our troops overseas, many of whom have lost life and limb in service to the word “free”. They have won a commendation from the Governor for their year-round work with (and for) underserved rural communities and military veterans.

Featuring professional actors paired with local kids, the family friendly theatrical fare is a celebration of Shakespeare and other great works of literature presented in a fast, furious, fun and audience interactive way that has been putting the “’shake’ back in Shakespeare” for 14 years.

The season opens on Saturday Aug 10th with the free matinee series, Sugar-Coated Shakespeare, an interactive candy-coated learning experience with the Bard at the center, where two person teams of actors play over 20 different characters in Shakespeare and other classical literature. Sugar-Coated Shakespeare is performed at 2:30 pm under the tent in the center of Waterville Valley’s Town Square on 3 consecutive Saturdays: Aug 10, 17 and 24.

In the evenings, at the WV Gazebo Hill Ampitheater (behind the Town Square ice rink), the following original shows, created specifically for Theatre Under The Stars, are as follows: Sat Aug 10th: “Interactive Best Buddies Bard”, a celebration of love and friendship, Fri Aug 16: “Interactive Buccaneer Bard”, a swashbuckling adventure, Sat Aug 17th: “Interactive No Holds Bard”, an improv sketch comedy show where no two shows are alike, Fri Aug 23: “Interactive No Holds Bard Part Deux” and Sat Aug 24th: “The Tempest Experiment”, an interactive mixed media art experience created in the theater’s innovative new Creative Adventurer’s Club Lab. All evening mainstage shows are “pay what you can” (suggested min, donation is $5). House opens at 6pm for pre-show picnicking and BYO beverage of your choice, show begins at 6:30pm and lasts 60-75 minutes, with an intermission. All shows are family friendly, with “first come, first served” general admission seating. If rain, the shows move into the indoor space located behind the clock tower on the 2nd tier of Town Square. So grab a beach chair or blanket, pack a picnic or grab some food at Town Square’s numerous eateries, and head out to see this “lean, mean theater machine”! (There are lawn chairs available for rent at the site, with all proceeds going towards youth program scholarships)

Last, Aug 12-24th, the theater presents its’ innovative and brand new youth program, The Creative Adventurer’s Club. Lead by professionals working in various arts fields, the participants, age 8-17, will together collaborate on a mixed media arts presentation based on Shakespeare’s magical mystery tour de force, “The Tempest”. For more info, schedule and a registration form, like the group on facebook at Shakespeare in the Valley (where forms have been posted), find the forms at Town Square condo’s main office or call 603 238 7113.