Shakespeare in the Streets will host the play "The New World" April 27 - 29 in the Benton Park West neighborhood of St. Louis. UMSL's Tlaloc Rivas will direct the production. (Photo by Shakespeare in the Streets)

The culmination of months of hard work will play out in the streets of the Benton Park West neighborhood of St. Louis this weekend.

The intersection of Cherokee Street and California Avenue will be the backdrop for the Shakespeare-inspired play “The New World.” It’s an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” being presented by Shakespeare in the Streets.

The hourlong play will be performed at 8 p.m. April 27-28 and at 3 p.m. on April 29. All performances are free and open to the public.

Tlaloc Rivas, assistant professor of theater at the University of Missouri–St. Louis is directing the play, which is a true community effort that casts residents alongside professional actors.

“We want to celebrate the eclecticism and can-do spirit of the neighborhood,” Rivas said on a recent episode of “Cityscape” on St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU. “I think we’ve done that.”

In fact, the neighborhood was chosen to be the backdrop of the play before the play was picked. The play came out of months of talking with residents and business owners. Rivas said certain themes started to emerge and they felt “The Tempest” would be the best vessel for conveying their story.

Rivas also spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the play. Click here to read the story.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez