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GUILDERLAND: Theater fest a scene setter

If you are someone who enjoys local theater and the great outdoors, you may want to catch the Helderberg Theater Festival, the second half of which takes place at Indian Ladder Farms this weekend, with double-feature performances on Aug. 3, 4 and 5. A special performance of Othello only will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 2.

The festival is put on by Classic Theater Guild Inc. and features a little something for everyone with two well-known plays; William Shakespeare's "Othello" for a more mature crowd, and J. M. Barrie's "Peter Pan" for children.

Classic Theater Guild Inc., which is in its fourth year of production, typically puts on shows at the Hilton Center in Albany, including the production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in March, which started at The Hilton Center and finished up at WAMC in Albany for its last weekend. Previous shows at the Hilton include "Auntie Mame" directed by Glenn Read in March 2006, "The Brady Bunch" directed by Debbie Conti last summer at Voorheesville Elementary School, and the Shakespeare production "As You Like It, " which was directed by Ed Bablin and took place outdoors at a Voorheesville Park.

The Helderberg Theater Festival performances are not the first outdoor productions put on by Classic Theater Guild, according to Amanda Stankavich, a former director at the Guild and currently an artistic director. She said company president Ed Bablin had Indian Ladder Farms in mind for a more unique and scenic venue for the summer.

"Ed loves the country landscape, and he always had gusto for conjunction with them for a free, outdoor event," she said.

The event is the first of its kind at Indian Ladder Farms, a large farmers marketplace with a restaurant and cafE. Though Indian Ladder puts on several festivals of its own throughout the year, this is the first theater-related event they?ve had on their grounds.

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