Help support ADK Shakes:  Support our sponsors.

The local businesses listed here have generously given their resources in support of the arts in Upstate New York and on Schroon Lake.  Please show that you appreciate their continued support of ADK Shakespeare by giving these companies your business.  When you do, let them know you were referred by ADK Shakes and thank them for supporting the Arts!


Schroon Lake Region Chamber of Commerce


North Warren Chamber of Commerce


Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce



Maple Leaf Motel


Sand Point Beach and Cottages


Schroon Lake Bed & Breakfast



Adirondack General Store

(The Company’s favorite breakfast spot!)


Mr. P’s Mountain Smokehouse



True North Yoga


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Adirondack Shakespeare Company IN THE NEWS

2012 was a big year for us! We were featured on North Country Public Radio, in the Lake Champlain Weekly,, the Schroon Laker, the Post-Star, as well as the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the Adirondack Almanack, and the North Country Gazette. Many thanks to our hard working friends in the press!

Here are several press clippings from 2012:

North Country Public Radio:

by Todd Moe

Jul 20, 2012 — The Adirondack Shakespeare Company is back for their third annual Summer Festival Season in the region. But don't expect lavish costumes or sets. The company prides itself in presenting Shakespeare "in the raw", without the need for traditional sets and props.

Todd Moe spoke with artistic director Tara Bradway, who is also one of the twelve actors in the company. This summer, they'll perform The Twelve Labors of Hercules, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead.

Tara Bradway is the artistic director, and she is also one of the 12 members of the acting company this summer. The group faced the challenge of putting together performances with limited rehearsal time. The company’s process differs from similar theater groups that perform Shakespeare outdoors or during the summer months.

“Our company is really different, actually,” said Bradway. “A lot of theater companies will produce and rehearse shows for four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks. We rehearse each production for about 12 hours.”

Each actor in the company receives their roles a couple of months ahead of time and memorizes their lines and build their character. They are free to meet with other actors in the company to rehearse, but official rehearsals don’t begin until about two days before the production opens.

“We do that because we sort of like the idea of the pressure-cooker. We call our method ‘Shakespeare in the raw,’ which doesn’t mean that we’re naked, but it kind of means that the show is naked,” said Bradway. She explained that the company doesn’t use sets or scenery and has props that are suggestive. The use long dowels or sticks instead of swords and mime letters. The costumes are also not elaborate, and Bradway says they’re more like suggestive pieces such as hats or vests.

“We just try and take everything away from the show except for the words, so that’s really all the actors have to fall back on with only 12 hours of rehearsal. We’ll block fights so that those are safe, we’ll work on music, but we don’t actually run the show from the beginning to the end until the audience is present,” said Bradway.

This weekend, the company will be performing at the War Memorial in Congress Park in Saratoga, New York on Friday, July 20. They will be doing a couple of scenes every half hour, and in between the scenes, they’ll do a show and tell with kids. Bradway said, “They can come meet the actors, they can meet the monsters, see the masks, that kind of thing.”

The company has been performing shows for younger audiences as well as older ones. “We’ve had really an amazing experience producing, we do uncut Shakespeare as well. We make choices about what versions we’ll put into our scripts, but it’s based mostly on the first folio,” said Bradway. She says that in their first summer, the company produced Romeo and Juliet. Bradway remembers a family that had a four-year-old and a nine-year-old, and that the younger child sat mesmerized for the two and a half hour play.

“So I couldn’t encourage parents more to bring their kids to see the Shakespeare,” said Bradway. “Kids are so used to not catching every single word in a conversation anyway, and they’re just so open to the world and wanting to learn and really absorbing language at this young age. And I think once they get to middle school or high school, and they study it in the classroom, it’s such a different experience and this wall kind of goes up. You’re like, ‘No, I hate Shakespeare, I don’t understand it, it’s difficult,’ but that’s not the best way to be approaching Shakespeare. I think the best way to approach Shakespeare is to go see a show with a company that really knows how to speak the language and make it understandable, which we do, so I think it’s really accessible to everyone of all ages from very small four-year-olds all the way up to grandparents and seniors. Everybody’s really been enjoying it.”

This summer, the company is double-casting their performances of Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. All of the actors who are in Hamlet are playing the exact same roles in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Bradway said, “So you really get to see both sides of that story. I know that a lot of people are excited about maybe one show or the other, but I encourage everyone to come and see both because you’ll get a really awesome full sandwich with that. I think it’ll be a really interesting way to get the whole story.”

According to Bradway, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has changed the way contemporary audiences view Hamlet. She said, “I went to see Jude Law’s Hamlet a couple of years ago in New York City and whenever Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were on stage, there was just such a palpable, really different energy since everybody now knows R. and G. so well. It’s really cool.”

Schroon Laker:


THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012 AT 10:14AM

By Deb Philp

If Wednesday's opening performance is any indication, the Adirondack Shakespeare Company's third season will leave no doubt that they are serious contenders in the Shakespearean summer stock crowd. They opened the season with "The Twelve Labors of Hercules," an original play billed as a children's show. But the "children's show" label is too limiting for this extremely entertaining production. "Hercules" is truly for all ages.

I won't give away the plot - the surprises are too much fun - except to say that the playwright started with the Hercules myth from the ancient Greeks and crafted a story that is contemporary and poignant for kids and adults alike. Youngsters were mesmerized by beautifully crafted masks and puppet-like costumes. Older children could relate as bully and intellectual nerd discover they have something to offer each other and become friends. Overlaying that was the very adult theme of strategy and diplomacy versus brute force and the development of leadership, as apropos today as it was in ancient times. Woven throughout was perfectly-timed humor that had the whole audience laughing out loud.

The actors are professional and highly entertaining, and pull the audience into the production with planned and ad-libbed interactions. I am looking forward to seeing them again in "Twelfth Night," "Hamlet" and "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" throughout the summer. We should consider ourselves blessed that the Adirondack Shakespeare Company has chosen Schroon Lake for their summer home.


SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2012 AT 10:23AM

ADK Shakes Company Director Patrick Siler, with a mask from the upcoming kids production, Hercules

The Schroon performing art scene got an incredible boost three years ago, when a young company of talented actors established the Adirondack Shakespeare Company here.

From performing scenes in the Town Park, to breathing life into the long abandoned stage at Scaroon Manor, this little company that could, shook things up.

And along the way, they attracted a loyal fan base of kids and adults, with their unique approach to re-inventing the productions of Will Shakespeare, while maintaining their authenticity.

“It’s been a wonderful three years and we’ve loved the support everyone here has given us,” Tara Bradway, the company’s artistic director told Schroon Laker.

And in that time the company has grown and expanded its fan base. “We performed in Lake Placid last year for the first time and we are back there this year.”

The company is also performing in Saratoga, Ticonderoga, North Creek and Bolton Landing.

But the third season kicks off at “home” on Wednesday, at the Boathouse at 11am. ADK Shakes, as they are affectionately known, will be staging an original work, The Twelve Labors of Hercules, a children’s play written by Jessica Hackett.

“It’s Hercules, especially for kids. It’s a great Greek mystery and great adventure.”

“The characters of Octavius and Agrippa are quite compelling, and the journey of their friendship is going to be great fun to watch as it unfolds!”

ADK Shakes’ main stage season will begin on July 28 at the Boathouse Theater with the opening of Twelfth Night.

We caught up with Tara earlier this week, as she and company director Patrick Siler, were finishing off some of the masks that will be used in the play to transform the actors into Gods and Monsters.

If you have never had the chance to see an ADK production, you are missing out. The company’s productions are often referred to as “Shakespeare in the Raw”.

That refers to the company’s focus on the performance of the actors, with less attention applied to elaborate costumes or lighting and productions designs.

And their performances are world class. The actors are professionals who specialize in authentic Shakespeare productions.

More than 1,000 actors applied for a spot in this year’s company. By last fall, the list was down to 100 hopefuls who auditioned in New York before the final 12 were chosen.

Tara says this that based on what she has seen in the auditions, this year’s company could be one of the best yet.

“Not to be disparaging of previous years, that were all excellent, we are vey excited about the cast this year" Check back regularly on for more on the ADK Shakes season.

In addition to  Hercules and  Twelfth Night, the season will feature the paired presentation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s darkly comic modern take on the tale, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. You can book tickets on line here. For details on their full season, click here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012; 12:06 PM - by Broadway World News Desk

Adirondack Shakespeare Company Returns to Schroon Lake for Third Summer Season

Shakespeare IN THE RAW is about to return to Schroon Lake! The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakes) is back for their third annual Summer Festival Season and prepared to present some of the finest comedy and tragedy that the Bard has to offer. 

First up for ADK Shakes is The Twelve Labors of Hercules, an original children’s play written by Jessica Hackett. The two-week tour will begin on July 11th at the Boathouse Theater in Schroon Lake Village. Hercules boasts a tight-knit professional company playing multiple roles in this delightful story. Meet the pantheon of Greek gods and monsters, portrayed through beautiful mask work and puppetry.

ADK Shakes’ mainstage season will begin on July 28th at the Boathouse Theater with the opening of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s beloved comedy about love, family and friendship. Of course, Viola and Orsino’s tale wouldn’t be complete without a little cross-dressing! In addition to Twelfth Night, the mainstage season will feature the paired presentation of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, Hamlet and Tom Stoppard’s darkly comic modern take on the tale, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. ADK Shakespeare’s Executive Director, Patrick Siler, takes the stage as the tragic Prince of Denmark in both productions, just after graduating from Law School and sitting for the New York State Bar Exam.

The ADK Shakes company has been on a mission to bring high-quality theater to the Adirondacks region, and is thrilled to be returning for another summer. The naturally beautiful performance spaces, like the Amphitheater at Scaroon Manor, provide a picturesque backdrop for the adrenaline-fueled RAW performances that eliminate the need for a traditional set. ADK Shakespeare’s unique IN THE RAW performance style strips away all extraneous elements of the production, removing lavish period costumes, sets and lighting design, and focuses on Shakespeare’s words. The result has been called “a head first-no safety net dive into Shakespeare.” Artistic Director, Tara Bradway, states, “The plays are pretty good. We like to let them speak for themselves. It is rare to see the work done with this level of honesty and absolutely should not be missed.”

ADK Shakespeare’s Mainstage Season will run through August 18th, with performances taking place primarily at the Boathouse Theater in Schroon Lake Village, as well as the Scaroon Manor Amphitheater and Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Tickets are currently available for purchase online through

Read more:

In 2011, we were published in the Schroon Laker blog and on for the first time. We were featured again in the Adirondack Almanack, and we were pleased to forge a relationship with the Lake George Mirror as well. Below are selections from our friends at the Schroon Laker and from the Adirondack Almanack.


THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011 AT 8:31AM

For the last month, the young actors of the ADK Shakes Company have worked long, long days and long, long nights, squeezed in a few hours sleep and the occasional yoga class as they studied their parts for today’s Schroon Lake premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Today’s performance features one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Its plot centers around the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. Throw in the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set, and you’ve got a Shakespeare classic

Schroon Laker caught up with actor Collin McConnell (who's playing Demetrius) and asked about today’s performance.

"Are you kidding? I'm so excited! At this moment, the company is really ready for a good night's sleep. We've been working incredibly hard. On Monday, we began an intensive verse-speaking master class with Professor Leslie Reidel of the University of Delaware's Professional Theatre Training Program, which ran through yesterday afternoon. Our rehearsals for Midsummer began yesterday afternoon, and though we still have work to do, we can't wait to share this play with our audience tomorrow!

Up until this point the actors, who have been staying at various homes in Schroon Lake,  have largely worked solo on the play, spending their time studying their many long lines. That’s in between a long list of performances already under their belts at various locations throughout the Adirondacks. McConnell says today’s performance is a chance for the audience to experience the play in a different light than they might be accustomed to.

"The best thing about coming is that our audience gets this amazing treat of seeing the very first time we run through the play. I don't mean just our first performance ... this will be truly the first time the actors run through the play in its entirety, and it is the most amazing opportunity to discover the play together".

ADK Shakes is known for their “raw” performances – it’s all about the words and less about the technical aspects of set design, lighting, props or costumes.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 2pm @ The BoatHouse.

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011

Shakespeare Co Launches Preservation Effort


Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakes) is returning to the Adirondack region for its second full Summer Festival Season. The company plans to follow last summer’s presentations of As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth with an all-new expanded season featuring ADK Shakes’ daring and adrenaline-fueled RAW performance style which strips the Bard down to the bare bones.

This year, the company will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice, along with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield and Theseus and the Minotaur, an original children’s production by Sean Adams.

In addition to their full season, ADK Shakes has taken on a new challenge. The company is determined to revitalize the outdoor amphitheater at Scaroon Manor Day-Use Facility (formerly
Taylor’s Point). This historic landmark was once a vibrant destination for locals as well as tourists looking to take in professional theatre amidst the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains. ADK Shakes’ Artistic Board has made it their mission to get the outdoor amphitheater on New York’s list of historic sites.

“One of the reasons we are looking to establish a Shakespeare company in the Adirondacks is to save this amazing outdoor amphitheater,” says Artistic Director Tara Bradway. The company’s plans to raise awareness during the course of the season include public presentations and petitions in the Adirondack region.

The Adirondack region tour of The Complete Works will begin July 4th, while the Mainstage Season opens July 21st and will run through August 7th. Performances of the children’s show Theseus and the Minotaur are set to run from July 27th through August 6th. Performances will take place primarily at the Boathouse Theater in Schroon Lake Village, as well as the Little Theater on the Farm in Fort Edward and LARAC Gallery in Glen Falls. Weather permitting, the final weekend of performances will be held at the outdoor amphitheater at Scaroon Manor.

This event is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council. For more information, a full performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit Email inquiries may be sent to

Illustration: Postcard of the historic Sacroon Manor outdoor amphitheater, Schroon Lake, NY.

In 2010, ADK Shakes was featured in such publications as the Adirondack Almanack, North Country Gazette, and the Post-Star. Here’s a selected article from the Adirondack Almanack:


Adirondack Shakespeare Company's Season Announced


The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (ADK Shakes) will present its first full Summer Festival Season at the Boathouse Theatre in Schroon Lake Village with As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. Last year, the company presented Hungry Will’s Variety Hour at the outdoor amphitheater at Scaroon Manor, formerly Taylor’s Point.

This summer, a company of twelve professional actors will present the three plays in repertory over the course of three weeks using ADK Shakes’s trademark, adrenaline-fueled "RAW" performance style. This method – "Shakespeare IN THE RAW" – strips away all extraneous elements of production, and has yielded the company success, selling out its latest production of
Richard III in New York City.

With only Shakespeare’s words remaining, the actors and the audience build the world of the play together in their imaginations. In performance, the audience is let in on that rare moment when the acting company discovers the play for the very first time. Greg Davies, who played the title role in
Richard III, calls his experience with the RAW method “the most energy and the most excitement I have ever felt on stage.” The company considers THE RAW as much an extreme sport as it is an art form.

ADK Shakes presents
As You Like It on July 16, 22, and 30; Romeo and Juliet on July 18, 23, and 31; and Macbeth on July 25 and 29 and August 1. All performances are at 2:00 p.m. In case of rain, performances will take place inside the Boathouse Theatre in Schroon Lake Village. Weather permitting, performances will be held outside the Theatre at the Bandstand in Schroon Lake Town Park.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit