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Shakespeare Shorts beginning Wednesday live under the maples at Gyro Park

To be in love, or not to be in love?

That is the question to be explored by Shakespeare Shorts VII: Greatest Love Scenes as Lisel and Jeff Forst reenact legendary affairs of the heart,  Wednesday to Saturday (July 18-21) at 7:30 p.m., live under the maple leaves of Nelson’s Gyro Park.

In Act I of the fourth annual Bard in the Bush Shakespeare Festival, audiences at Shakespeare Shorts VII: Greatest Love Scenes pick their show’s sequence of sassy scenes out of a foolish cap.

Showcased famous lovers are: Beatrice and Benedick, Kate and Petruchio, Cleopatra and Antony, Cressida and Troilus, Hermia/Helena and Lysander and more surprises.

Though nothing is publicly risque, Shakespeare Shorts VII: Greatest Love Scenes is rated PG-13 for its ribald repartee.

Lisel and Jeff are carrying the torch lit by Susie O’Donnell in the 20th century. Inspired by memorization guru Scott Swan, O’Donnell launched the Shakespeare Shorts empire in her Gyro Park backyard.

Lisel and Jeff enjoy honouring the Bard’s language as intended, via the dictates of the first folio text itself. This is spicy Shakespeare served fresh with passionate care.

Presently branching into pro hairstyling, Lisel’s dynamic theatre highlights include Loco Phantasmo, Into the Woods, The Nuppet Show, Sylvia, Fore-play!, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Marriage of Figaro, Leave and Les Ms..

Nelson Youth Theatre director Jeff Forst has helmed several dozen plays, along with being a producer, writer, and actor.

He has a degree in English Literature from the Univeristy of Victoria, with professional training from the Gastown Actors Studio. Local stage credits include Into the Woods, Deathtrap, More Willful Pursuits and The Melville Boys.

All-weather, all-terrain, and all by donation, the fourth annual Bard in the Bush Shakespeare Festival venue is Ye Olde Stone Quarry at the top end of Vernon Street, a short walk up from Nelson’s Civic Centre.

In lower Gyro Park, with all the amenities of the wilderness, it’s best to access Ye Olde Stone Quarry from the Vernon Street sidewalk below (as opposed to the steep trail by the pool and parking-lot above.)

Audiences are encouraged to bring their own comfy thrones and yummy feasts to the festival. Non-alcoholic beverages are welcome. There are several picnic blankets for seating available as need be.

Visit forstmedia.ca for more information about Shakespeare Shorts VII: Greatest Love Scenes, the Forsts and the fourth annual Bard in the Bush Shakespeare Festival.