It’s arguably the most famous story of star-crossed lovers and the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce is bringing it to town this summer. Co-sponsored by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will be featured in the gazebo lawn in Ellicottville on August 11 at 8 p.m.

“When people think of Ellicottville, they think of music, food, and shopping,” Chamber Executive Director Brian McFadden said. “While that is a part of who we are, we want people to know that we also have an appreciation for, and are an outlet for much more. What better way to do this than to provide a free performance of Romeo and Juliet to everyone, put on by professionals that know and understand the art?”

The performance would not be possible without the co-sponsorship of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council.

“We are excited to be able to co-sponsor the Shake on the Lake troupe,” Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) Executive Director, Tina Hastings said. “Although the Arts Council is located in Allegany, NY, we are always looking for opportunities to engage the communities outside of the greater Olean area. CCAC comes to Ellicottville in the winter to present the Winter Arts Festival at Holiday Valley, but we’ve always wanted to do more to support the arts in Ellicottville in the summertime. The Shake on the Lake troupe has a reputation for outstanding performances, so CCAC is very happy to be part of bringing them here for the community to enjoy.”

The play will be performed by Shake on the Lake, a Silver Lake, NY, based Shakespearian troupe that has been bringing the Bard’s pieces to Western and Central New York since 2012. The organization’s goals are creating a fun, family-friendly, outdoor production of Shakespeare to high artistic standards. They look to use cost-effective, green production practices and have been known to use refurbished and repurposed items in their productions. Shake on the Lake also helps sponsors find ways to make performances low-cost to offer a higher accessibility to quality performances.

In previous years, the troupe has performed Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They tour the region performing to bring The Bard’s acts to as many as possible, performing in Geneseo, Letchworth State Park, Dansville, Darien Lake St. Park, Orleans County Marine Park, Attica, Arcade, Springville, Groveland Prison & Silver Lake.

Make sure you bring your chairs or a blanket and come out to enjoy an hour and a half of live Shakespeare. Before that, come out and see what’s going on with Ellicottville’s Stroll the Streets from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with lots of free and fun things to do.