Shakespearean Garden Party and Trivia to Benefit Brooklyn Theater Group

By Nikhita Venugopal on May 29, 2014 2:10pm 

 Smith Street Stage will perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" this summer at Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens. The group will host a fundraiser to support the production on June 28 at the Magnolia House.
Smith Street Stage will perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" this summer at Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens. The group will host a fundraiser to support the production on June 28 at the Magnolia House.
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Chris Montgomery

CARROLL GARDENS — Do you know which character said "What's done cannot be undone"? Or what Shakespeare's father did for a living?

A Brooklyn theater group is hoping Shakespeare nerds turn up to answer those questions and others at a garden party and trivia night to benefit “Shakespeare in Carroll Park.”

The Shakespeare Garden Party Fundraiser, hosted by Smith Street Stage, will benefit the group’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” which it will perform this summer in Carroll Park.

The fundraiser, on June 28 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., will be hosted at the West Village’s Magnolia House, at 49 Barrow St., which will be transformed into a “Shakespearean playground of sorts,” said Beth Ann Hopkins, the group’s artistic director.

A trivia competition for experts of Shakespeare and other activities are slated for the evening with prizes and gift baskets for winners, Hopkins said.

Attendees are encouraged to wear garden attire to the party, which will feature games, food, drink and live music. Attendees might learn a thing or two about the famous English playwright, she said. 

Coincidentally, The Public Theater’s popular “Shakespeare in the Park” series that’s held in Central Park will also perform “Much Ado About Nothing” this year.

While Smith Street Stage hadn’t planned on mirroring the Public, it isn’t uncommon for a play to unexpectedly return to popularity, Hopkins said.

“Our goal is to some day be the ‘Shakespeare in Brooklyn’ like the Public is in Manhattan,” she said.

To achieve that goal, Smith Street Stage is upping its game with this year’s fundraiser at the Magnolia House. Each room of the house will inspired by Shakespeare’s plays with a focus on his comedic works.

Smith Street Stage has previously produced "Macbeth," "Twelfth Night" and "Julius Caesar" for the free series and this will be its fifth year returning to the Carroll Gardens park.

Local organizations and businesses often pitch in to support the series and for the first time this year the group is also accepting sponsors. Those interested can email smithstreetstage@gmail.com.

Tickets for the party are priced at $25 and $15 for students with proceeds benefiting the production. Donations will also be accepted via the group’s website.

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