CT Free Shakespeare presents Mornings of April and May

Marca Leigh

Marca Leigh

Actor’s Equity Actress Marca Leigh of Stratford will play Doña Clara in Connecticut Free Shakespeare’s (CFS) 2015 production, Mornings of April and May. The comedy by Spanish Golden Age playwright, Pedro Calderon de la Barca, will run for one week only from Wednesday, August 5 through Sunday, August 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Peacock Pavilion at CT’s Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport. Actors are Actor’s Equity Actors. Performances are free. The zoo closes at 4 p.m. but will reopen at 5:15 for guests attending the play. The audience is advised to come early to get the best seating and bring a blanket or chairs. It is traditional to picnic ahead of time. Cancelled only when weather is severe.

Leigh is an accomplished actress who volunteered with CFS during its run at Festival! Stratford last year. She is a member of the Theatre Artists Workshop in Norwalk and just closed in their first Fringe Festival as both a baby turtle and a guru worshipper. Recently, she acted in Medea with the Gallery Players in Brooklyn and in Titus Andronicus as Tamora at The Kraine Theatre in New York City. Leigh played Regan in King Lear; Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing; and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar with the Moose Hall Theater Company’s Inwood Shakespeare Festival in New York City. She acted with Robert Cucioili (Jekyll & Hyde, Les Misérables, Spider-Man) in Chess in Concert at LaGuardia Arts/Lincoln Center. She danced in the Muppets movie and played Dawn in Forensic Files. Leigh is also an accomplished voiceover artist and painter.

Mornings of April and May is a lighthearted, music filled comedy by Spain’s great Golden Age playwright, Pedro Calderon de la Barca. Like the majority of comedies composed during the Spanish Golden Age, “Mornings of April and May” is a “cloak-and-sword play” (comedia de capa y espada.”) The genre derives its name from the frequency with which identities are concealed or confused (by means of cloak or veil) and the readiness with which challenges are issued and duels staged.  Leigh’s character, Dona Clara, is an independent woman who refuses to obey her womanizing fiance with hilarious results. The comedy is about love, honor, jealousy and fidelity, with healthy doses of comedic devices such as mistaken identity and eavesdropping. The play takes place in Madrid in the 1600’s, but the themes are timeless. It is suitable for all ages.

Emmy Award winning scenic designer, Liz Popiel of NYC and Danbury, CT, a tenured professor at Western Connecticut State College in the Theater Arts Department returns to CFS for a second year to design the set for the play.

Broadway fight choreographer Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum who worked with CFS actors in Romeo and Juliet, returns to coach the play’s duel.

For more information, call 203-232-8805 or 203-916-8066; visit ctfreeshakespeare.org or facebook.com/CT Free Shakespeare; follow on Twitter @CFShakespeare.

CT Free Shakespeare and Mornings of April and May is sponsored by Actor’s Equity Association, Avram and Rhoda Freedberg Family Foundation, The City of Bridgeport, The State of CT DECD, Norma Terris-Albert Firestone Foundation, The WorkPlace, CT’s Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport Innovation Center, and Merit Insurance.

Connecticut Free Shakespeare (CFS) was founded in 2000 as an offshoot of Dandelion Productions. It is a non-profit theater company whose mission is to produce free-to-the-public professional works of classical theater in an accessible, skillful, imaginative American style that honors the playwright’s language and intentions and that crafts these plays with a 21st century sensibility. CFS is committed to mounting productions that make Shakespeare and other great playwrights accessible to a broad range of audience members, including those not familiar with their work, without jeopardizing artistic integrity.

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