Shakespeare meets the 1980s and high school kids direct Pinocchio at this summer’s Helderberg Theater Festival

NEW SCOTLAND — Classic Theater Guild’s eighth annual Helderberg Theater Festival at Indian Ladder Farms in New Scotland this year will feature William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Tony Pallone, and Pinocchio, adapted from the children's classic story, directed by Stefanie DeFronzo, Jaynie Parmenter, and Noah Robinson.

The festival is a free outdoor event to take place from July 17 through July 27 with a special added Gala Fundraiser performance at Proctors Fenimore Gallery on Aug. 2.  Theater-goers should bring blankets and chairs to the Indian Ladder Farms outdoor performances; full seating is provided for the gala performance at Proctors Fenimore Gallery. 

Pallone chose the music and styles of the 1980s as he thinks of that time as an era when people were exploring and living inside their dreams, much like the characters in Shakespeare's play. In his version, the working-class “mechanicals” strive to break into the exclusive clique run by the "royals.” Bridging the two classes is a dream-world representation of the same characters, the "fairies,” where new identities are forged that have the power to turn the real world on its head.

In the midst of it all is one of Shakespeare's most enduring creations, the mischievous sprite Puck, portrayed as a punk-rock icon who rejects authority and toys with the balance of power just because she can.

With the presentation of Pinocchio, The Guild embarks on a new challenge in cultivating young adult directors under the guidance and mentorship of Steve Suriano.  All three directors are students at Voorheesville’s Clayton A. Bouton High School.

Suriano, DeFronzo, Parmenter, and Robinson bring to life the classic story of Pinocchio, a world centered around an old wood-carver named Geppetto, who decides to create a puppet that can dance and do acrobatics. 

The last day of the festival will be commemorate the guild’s 10th anniversary with a performance of both pieces at Proctors Fenimore Gallery where all tickets are offered at $17.50 per person.

For more information, contact the Classic Theater Guild Inc. at 387-9150, or