I never realized how amazing Columbus is until last summer when I tried to see Shakespeare in the Park in Cincinnati.

Nothing against Cincinnati; I’m sure their Shakespeare in the Park program is good in its own way. When I and my family went to Cincinnati last summer to see Macbeth, we were disappointed to learn that

1) it was an all teenage cast

2) It would be performed entirely in a tiny pavilion with no stage and limited scenery.

3) It ended up getting canceled, anyway, due to lightning in the area.

We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see the play, but honestly we’d been spoiled by Columbus’ amazing Shakespeare in the Park program at Schiller, and I suspect that the Cincinnati version would have disappointed. That same summer (last summer) Actors’ Theatre did Hamlet and the Merry Wives of Windsor. Two really, really different plays, but we loved them both.

This Saturday we’re going to see Captain Blood – not Shakespeare, but it’s got pirates! And we’ll be going to Katzinger’s for our traditional Schiller Park picnic before the play. And we know we’ll see a great show in a beautiful park on a massive stage. Later in the summer they’ll be doing Richard III. If you’ve never been – or even if you have – you should check it out. Plays at Schiller are one of the things that make Columbus, well, pretty great.

Schiller Park provides the theater setting for a performance by Actorsí Theater of Columbus of Beaux' Stratagem Thursday, Aug. 22. The play will run Thursdays through Sundays through Sept. 1. Joshua A. Bickel/ThisWeekNEWS The audience watches during the Actors' Theater of Columbus' performance of "Beaux' Strategem" Aug. 22, 2013 at Schiller Park in Columbus, Ohio. The play will run Thursdays through Sundays until Sept. 1.

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