Media Release 1 November 2019

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”  

(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, Scene 1)

Lakespeare & Co., Canberra’s home-grown force of theatre, is bringing a free summer of Shakespearean love to Canberra’s parks and lakes this February with a third season of their popular Shakespeare by the Lakes production.

The independent theatre company – founded by Taimus Werner-Gibbings, and created by Duncan Driver, Lexi Sekuless and Paul Leverenz – has announced that Shakespeare by the Lakes III: A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open on February 14th, 2020 – St. Valentine’s Day – at Tuggeranong Town Park.

Written simultaneously with Romeo and Juliet (!) around 1595, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy of love and desire’s complications and simplicity, as well as a reflection on a society’s expectations and limits. It explores the power of imagination while also quietly critiquing then-Queen Elizabeth I, her vulnerability and the politics of the time.

In February 2018 Lakespeare & Co. presented Shakespeare by the Lakes I: Much Ado About Nothing in Tuggeranong Town Park, Glebe Park in Civic and Queen Elizabeth II Park in Queanbeyan. It was attended by 4200 people. In 2019, performances of Shakespeare by the Lakes II: Twelfth Night in Tuggeranong Town Park, Glebe Park, the Patrick White Lawns and Lanyon Homestead were attended by over 5500 people.

For their 2020 season, Lakespeare & Co. are focused on growing the pool of Canberra actors trained in Shakespeare performance with an emerging artist season prioritising mentoring and training. 

While Shakespeare by the Lakes III will be the the group’s tent-pole production, they will also be presenting more performances of their successful spin-off Shakespeare Down the Pub. The irreverent and “organic” atmospheres for these performances in some of Canberra’s merriest establishments are as reminiscent of the Globe Theatre circa 1600 as it is possible to get in the nation’s capital. 

In July 2020, Lakespeare & Co. will be launching Winter of Content. These warm, intimate and atmospheric productions will be staged in Canberra’s premier cultural locations, beginning with an exciting and unique partnership with the National Portrait Gallery. 

Lakespeare & Co. has also expanded its ‘Shakespeare Verse Nerds’ workshops so more Canberrans can learn than play the bard with confidence in their technique.

To put on its free shows, Lakespeare & Co. is completely reliant on corporate and public support from Canberra’s community. Shakespeare by the Lakes has been made possible by over $30,000 in public donations so far and nearly $50,000 in government and corporate sponsorship. 

Shakespeare by the Lakes III has already received generous commitments from South.Point Shopping Centre (a three-time returning patron sponsor), National Capital Toyota in Tuggeranong (a three-time returning patron sponsor) and Beyond Bank (returning from the second year as a patron sponsor), as well as support from MLC Finance Canberra (a three-time returning sponsor) and McDonalds: Conder, Erindale and Tuggeranong (a three-time returning sponsor), and our Major Partners Event Audio Visual Services (a three-time returning major partner) and Communities @Work (a three-time returning major partner).

But it needs more money. Much more.

To help make Shakespeare by the Lakes III the production Canberra deserves, please discuss your sponsorship ideas with Lakespeare & Co. at moc.eraepsekal@ofni.

Shakespeare by the Lakes III: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Cast

Annekavon der VeldeHelena




Taimus Werner-Gibbings

Taimus Werner-Gibbings


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