The Friends of the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library in Townsend, TN, a group who helps support one of two public Blount County Libraries, have scored another successful event on March 19, 2016 with their third annual Shakespeare Festival.
After presenting THE TAMING OF THE SHREW in 2014 and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING in 2015, Bill Gathergood presented A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM this year.
The comedy, which was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Gathergood, a Shakespeare enthusiast who has taught the Bard for several decades to classes in the U.S. and Russia, brings Shakespeare to life even to those who find the playwright “difficult.”
The members who attended the event, which is held at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, are eager to volunteer for the roles that Gathergood lays out for the play. After all, who could resist playing Titania, the Queen of the fairies, an Athenian Duke or the mischievous Puck who has magical power over mortals?
Besides learning about a Shakespeare play, those in attendance found about the theater in various parts of the world as well as during Shakespeare’s time. Gathergood explained that audiences could get quite rowdy and those sitting in the pit were very close to the actors on stage.
Judy Krueger, who chaired the committee that planned this year’s Festival, had this to say: “Since our little Townsend Library here in Blount County is temporarily closed because of structural problems to the building, there are many individuals in the area who want to keep the Library’s programs alive. Offering a Shakespeare play to the community is not only a cultural opportunity but it lets the community know that the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library is still a viable force. We particularly appreciate the efforts of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in offering a venue to help us make the Shakespeare Festival happen each year. We’ll be having the Festival again in 2017 although a date has not yet been set.”
Two other activities sponsored by the Friends of the Library are already in the planning stages for this year. Both events will be held at the Heritage Center. On October 7, 2016 the Friends will host a storytellers’ festival. This will be the first time that the group will be involved in this activity which has been held for several years at the Center.
On November 5, 2016 the second annual Handcrafters’ Showcase, which features locally made craft items for sale, will be held. This latter event was so popular that there have been requests to schedule it again.
Meanwhile, the Library Board is working towards getting the necessary repairs made to the building which is leased from the Tuckaleechee Utility Board. Then the Mary E. Tippitt Memorial Library can open its doors again. mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast