Notre Dame Shakespeare festival kicks off at Taltree Aboretum

The Notre Dame Young Company will perform "Pericles, Price of Tyre" at Taltree Aboretum in Valparaiso Sunday.

There's Shakespeare in the park this Sunday – a really big park with more than 330 acres of woods and wetlands.

All of Taltree Aboretum's a stage this Sunday when the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival rolls into town. The Notre Dame Young Company will perform "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Taltree Arboretum and Gardens at 450 West 100 North in Valparaiso.

"Pericles is a lesson in heroic faith: faith in friendship, honor, love, and God," Director Cameron Knight said. "That faith is rewarded at the end of this journey and is the central theme of this beautiful play."

The 80-minute play tells the story of Pericles, a young prince who flees his hometown of Tyre and becomes a castaway who embarks on an epic journey to reclaim his kingdom.

Kate Pitt, a humanities program assistant with the Folger Shakespeare Library, said the play speaks to the modern-day refugee crisis. 

"Pericles dramatizes the courage and heartbreak of refugees from ancient times to today's crisis in Europe," Pitt said. "The title character flees for his life and travels through cities in Turkey, Libya, and Greece in search of a home for himself and his family."

The play itself is free, but it costs $20 per carload to get into Taltree until 6 p.m., when admission is free. The arboretum, which has formal gardens, woods and prairies, will kick off the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival at 1 p.m. with food trucks and various activities throughout the day.

The Notre Dame Young Company will go on to tour across Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, but Sunday's performance at Taltree is the only stop in Northwest Indiana.

For more information, call (574) 631-3777 or visit shakespeare.nd.edu.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.