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Wolf Park program something to howl about

The Metamorphosis Traveling Theatre Company will present performance based Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' 2:30 p.m. Sunday International Friendship Garden

The Metamorphosis Traveling Theatre Company will present a performance based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at International Friendship Garden in Michigan City. | Photo provided

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Updated: July 7, 2013 7:20AM



Two great outdoor family destinations will get even better with upcoming special performances: the music of Wolfgang Mozart and live wolves will combine as part of a special evening at Wolf Park and Shakespeare will be performed at International Friendship Gardens.

Howling Mozart After Hours takes Wolf Park’s popular howl night plus its monthly After Hours program and adds a performance by a string quartet from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. The evening ends around a campfire with roasting marshmallows and stories about the resident wolves.

The evening begins with visitors seated in bleachers in front of the main wolf pack enclosure for an informative presentation about wolves, their feeding habits and staff handling techniques. The park staff also talks about the interesting interactions of the pack and personalities of the wolves.

How fitting that the current alpha male is Wolfgang, because the next part of Saturday’s program will include music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Visitors might also hear pieces from Peter and the Wolf as a string quartet from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra performs while the sun is setting, stars are emerging and frog choruses are singing at this quiet rural venue.

How will the wolves respond to the music? If it doesn’t get them howling, the next portion of the program likely will. Like every weekly Howl Night program, the staff will teach visitors the finer points of howling — and then wait and listen to whether the wolves return the howl. It’s a fun and unique experience.

“Then, this is the only time when visitors can walk the trails after dark on their own. We’ll have volunteers staffed around the park to answer questions,” said Denise Pearson of Wolf Park.

The gates open Saturday at 6:15 p.m. CDT and close at 10 p.m. CDT. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. CDT. Pearson recommends that guests bring lawn chairs or blankets for the concert, and flash lights or head lamps for the hike.

Admission to Howling Mozart After Hours is the regular admission fee of $8 for adults, $6 for children ages 6 to 13 and free for children 5 and younger. Wolf Park is at 4004 E 800 N in Battle Ground, Ind., just north of Lafayette. For more information go online to www.wolfpark.org or call (765) 567-2265.

With sculptures and structures inspired by distant lands, colorful beds of flowers in bloom and lush greenery along trails through the woods, International Friendship Gardens in Michigan City is a lovely destination this time of year. Add to that, on Sunday the garden becomes a fitting set for a performance inspired by Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“The garden is pastoral — like a fairyland. It’s a natural setting for the fairies and immortals of the play,” said Doug Moon of Metamorphis Traveling Theatre Company.

Moon explained that the Metamorphis Traveling Theatre Company was previously known as the Acting Theatre of Michigan City, and in their new incarnation the group will focus on bringing a variety of types of performances to a variety of venues.

He said that some chairs are available and audience members are also welcome to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. Children are invited to come dressed as fairies and elves.

The performance begins at 2:30 Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children, and include garden admission. Parking is free, and is recommended on the performance side of International Friendship Garden. For more information call (219) 878-9885.



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