Shakespeare on the Sound returns to Norwalk's Pinkney Park

NORWALK — “Things growing are not ripe until their season,” says Lysander to Helena in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

So is the case for 2021 season of Shakespeare on the Sound, which after a turbulent year canceled 2020’s “The Tempest,” is now ripe for return to Pinkney Park in June.

“The Tempest” was scheduled to be SOS’s 25th anniversary celebration, but last year the organization announced its first season cancellation in 24 years due to the pandemic.

According to Lorah Haskins, SOS managing director, the organization lost a “large part of our income.”

But they also produced a few online events in the fall and brought the annual “A Christmas Carol” back via Zoom.

“While none of these productions yielded the income we normally take in, we were grateful to have been able to provide our community with programming during this crazy time,” Haskins said.

Like many other groups, the inability to hold in-person events was an additional blow when extra funds were needed most.

“We haven’t been able to hold an in-person gala this year, which has made fundraising extraordinarily difficult. We did just hold an online event and have had support from our community. We are hoping to hold more fundraising events, hopefully in person, soon,” she said.

This year’s Shakespeare on the Sound production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will reflect some COVID-19 adaptions.

The cast will be smaller, but “the magic will most certainly still be there,” Haskins said.

“We will have smaller audience sizes, relegated throughout the park in COVID-friendly pods. All of the state-mandated guidelines for outdoor events will be strictly adhered to. You will still be allowed to have wine and cheese in your pod,” Haskins said.

Other changes include the performance run time, which this year will begin at 7 and run no later than 8:30 p.m., with no intermission. The length of the season, from June 15 to July 3, will not change. The show has previously started at 7:30 p.m.

There will still be a pre-show for children that will start a half hour earlier than usual at 6 p.m.

SOS held a fundraiser last Monday in advance of the show, Will Shakespeare’s Variety Benefit, and will continue to hold fundraisers throughout the spring.

As per Shakespeare.org.uk, the plot of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” involves some magic, misunderstandings, and two couples gone awry as they plan their wedding due to the meddling of a fairy.

Shakespeare on the Sound intends to set the centuries-old plot in modern times.

“It will be fascinating to see how the tale is told amidst a pandemic,” Haskins said.

More information on upcoming fundraisers or how to donate can be found at shakespeareonthesound.org.