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Friendship Centerstage

Two of the Friendship Centerstage performers: Deborah Brekke as Lion and Bonnie Chapman as Wall.

The Winona Friendship Center Acting Class will perform a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the first Rochester Shakespeare Festival at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, June 15. The acting class has rehearsed the play within a play — “The Lamentable Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe,” which is a parody of a community theatre production from an Elizabethan group of amateurs affectionately known as the Rude Mechanicals who are performing because of their love of performance.

It is fitting that these Winona beginners have done just the same thing, and gathered together on their own time to rehearsal and perform along with their teacher Lee Gundersheimer, Winona’s arts and culture coordinator.

The Rochester Shakespeare Festival will begin at noon on Saturday in the Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester and will feature many companies, including the apprentices from the Great River Shakespeare Festival, who perform immediately following at 3 p.m.

The Friendship Center performers, who have dubbed themselves Friendship Centerstage, feature Deborah Brekke, Pam Miles, Bonnie Chapman, Nancy Ventura and two generations of the Ricker family: Liz and her parents, Sara and Richard. They have built their own props, found and made their own costumes, and are ready to be “mirthfully tragic” and to shine centerstage.

Admission to the Rochester Shakespeare Festival is $5, and for a complete schedule and more information visit immersionyouthrep.com/shakespeare-festival.

The Friendship Center Acting Class is a partnership of the Winona Friendship Center with The WINONArts programs whose mission is to solidify the city of Winona’s creative identity by active participation, partnering and production of a wide range of arts and cultural events in city owned spaces often working with existing creative programs and organizations and regional artists.

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