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Wherefore art thou Romeo? On the Lawn of the Salisbury House

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  It’s a performance that brings history and culture out of a museum and into the lawn, the lawn of the Salisbury House that is. Starting Wednesday and going through Sunday, the Salisbury House is putting on their annual Shakespeare on the Lawn fundraiser for the Salisbury House Foundation.

This year, crowds will watch the classic Shakespearean play Romeo and Juliet. The actors, from the Iowa Stage Theater Company, say they are most excited about the iconic balcony scene because they get to utilize the beautiful high balcony already on the Salisbury House. The money raised at the performances goes toward the interpretation of the art collection inside the home.  The Salisbury House says this outside performance is unlike anything you would see in a theater.

“It starts and it’s bright, it’s daylight, and you don’t even notice that all of a sudden the sky gets dark and the stars come out and the lights come on and you didn’t even notice that it happened and then all of a sudden the backdrop of the house is all lit up and it’s just beautiful,” Salisbury House Foundation Executive Director Kit Curran said.

Inside the great hall of the Salisbury House there is a connection to Shakespeare himself. Carl Weeks, the person who built the house restored the ceiling and the beams from the White Heart Inn in Salisbury England where Shakespeare is said to have performed.

“The cast was practicing, and they were all laying down in the great hall looking up at those beams saying ‘wow, here we are running lines and Shakespeare once also ran lines underneath these beams’,” Curran said.

Romeo and Juliet is Wednesday through Sunday starting at 7:30 P.M. Doors open at 6 P.M.  and it is first come first serve seating.

Prices are $30 for adults, $28 for Salisbury House Members, $20 for students and $10 for children ages 6 through 12 and children 5 and under get in free.

You can purchase ticket here or at the gate before the performance.