Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Centennial Park

August 5, 2021 - 12:45pm

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The Batavia Concert Band and its patrons finished the 2020 season with its seventh straight perfect Wednesday evening in Cential Park and presented some of its supporters and musicians with awards.

The Batavia Rotary Club was honored with the band's annual Friend of the Band Award and Dr. Marlin Salmon accepted the award on behalf of the club.

The band also present a donation to Rev. Ivan R. Trujill, Resurrection Parrish, for allowing the band to practice at the church for the past seven weeks.

Scholarships were presented to 

  • Katie Dessert (flute), receiving the Conductor's Choice Award. She starting her senior year at SUNY Fredonia studying Music Education with a concentration in Voice and General Music.  
  • Lydia Geiger, currently majoring in Music Performance in Music Education (on flute) at SUNY Potsdam. 

Photos by Liz Bailey.

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July 23, 2021 - 11:24am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, disc golf, Williams Park, city of batavia, Centennial Park.

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City of Batavia resident Phillip Boyd on Thursday said he has shelved his idea of a nine-hole disc golf course at Centennial Park in favor of working with city officials to place one at Williams Park on Pearl Street.

“It’s much larger than I originally thought,” Boyd said after taking a walk around the east and south portions of Williams Park with City Maintenance Supervisor Ray Tourt and City Parks Supervisor Brian Metz yesterday afternoon.

“Our talk went very well and there’s definitely a lot of potential for a nine-hole and we talked about possibly clearing out some of the woods in the right (southwest) corner for an 18 (hole course) in the future.”

Boyd said that he planned to return to the park today with a couple friends to map out a nine-hole course that would start near Pearl Street on the east side and proceed south along the east, southeast and south edges of the park.

He said he is hoping to attract sponsors for each hole to cover the expenses for tee pads, signage and baskets, figuring it would cost around $5,000. He also said he will be submitting his plan for Williams Park to City Manager Rachael Tabelski.

“Yes, I’ll have to do the same thing that I did to try to get Centennial Park; send in my course layout and proposal,” he said.

When asked to comment about the stir he caused with those living around Centennial Park, with many residents of that area rising up in opposition, Boyd said he wants to look ahead.

“Look, we all have our passions. Their passion was for Centennial Park’s history and mine is for disc golf,” he said. “I have no problems with leaving that behind now that there are other options available.”

Boyd also said he is willing to help those seeking to put an 18-hole course at Genesee Community College, and already has received quotes for the necessary equipment for that layout.

Photo: Brian Metz, left, Phillip Boyd and Ray Tourt looking at a map of Williams Park as they explore the possibility of placing a disc golf course at the Pearl Street recreational area. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

July 17, 2021 - 3:26pm

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Learning that Batavia lawmakers apparently have squashed his vision of placing a disc golf course at Centennial Park is not sitting well with 27-year-old Phillip Boyd, the Hart Street resident who pitched the idea at a City Council meeting in late May.

This past Monday, Council members – responding to complaints from homeowners living near the tree-dominated park in the northwest quadrant of the community – agreed that Centennial Park is “off the table” as a potential location for a nine-hole layout for a sport that has gained in popularity in recent years.


SIDEBAR: Western New York: A Hotbed for Disc Golf


Boyd is an avid disc golfer who competes in a league at courses in the Buffalo/Niagara region and has played at courses closer to home, including one at Hartland Park in Bergen. He said he’s not giving up on his push to have a disc golf course in Batavia and sees the 14-acre parcel across from the New York State School for the Blind as the perfect place.

“I’m definitely going to still try to get it there,” he said on Friday. “The main thing that I’m disappointed in is that the argument that they have is ‘keep it a green park’ when it has never truly been a green park. And, also the idea of the traffic being around there.It’s a park. It’s not busy now and parks are typically busy.”

Boyd said numerous people have told him that Centennial Park is rarely used.

“That’s the thing that should be changed -- to actually use a giant open space, and actually use it in Batavia. We have no activities around here. There’s nothing to do; everyone has to go to Buffalo and Rochester,” he said.

“These smaller towns like Bergen, Pembroke; they can do these, but Batavia can’t. That’s why we’re so far behind and why Batavia is a declining city. We aren’t the true hub of Genesee County. Everyone’s leaving Batavia because there is nothing to do here.”

JANKOWSKI: FOLLOW THE PROCESS

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said he and his colleagues do support events and activities, regularly approving requests from community organizations that are submitted to city management and staff.

“There’s a procedure and a process for these types of things and putting in a disc golf course at a city park is no exception,” Jankowski said. “Mr. Boyd was requested by Council to hand over his plans and documents to the city manager (Rachael Tabelski) for review and to get that process started, but he has yet to do so.”

Jankowski said Boyd appeared at two Council meetings, stating his case for disc golf during the public comments session.

“He was asked twice to submit the paperwork to the city manager, but instead he showed up at two City Council meetings and has yet to submit his written plans,” he said.

When this was mentioned to Boyd, he said he intends to hand in the information (sketches and a detailed course layout at Centennial Park) on Monday – July 19th, the deadline that he says he was given by Tabelski.

The Council president said his main issues with Centennial Park are that it has no facilities -- specifically bathrooms and amenities that are available at other city parks -- and that the only parking is along city streets.

“We’re willing to work with Mr. Boyd to find a better place, including working with our partners at neighboring towns and with Genesee County to try to make this happen,” Jankowski offered. “We’re not against disc golf, and are willing to look at other alternatives.”

BOYD: ‘SOME AREN’T OPEN TO CHANGE’

Boyd said he has walked the other parks in the city and finds that none of them, except maybe Williams Park (depending upon how much land the city owns at that location), would be acceptable.

“The Council president said that Centennial is off the table,” Boyd said. “If he is going to do that for 150 signatures and 12 people who showed up at the (July 12) meeting, that’s a problem. If I come with as much support as I have – a lot more than 150 signatures -- and he is still going to stand with that, then you’re not really being open to the idea of change in Batavia.”

“If Batavia is the hub of Genesee County, the lone city, we should be the one to lead the way for all the towns. Why do so many towns in our area have more activities than the city? There’s no reason for that.”

Boyd said he “feels comfortable with the amount of support he has and it’s building,” noting that he has reached hundreds of people through various social media platforms.

Jankowski questioned Boyd’s petition, which he said is on change.org.

“That’s open to anyone in the country,” he said. “How would that have anything to do with people who live here?”

DIFFERENCES OF OPINION

Residents of Ellicott Avenue and Park Place, two of the streets that border Centennial Park, came to last Monday’s meeting and urged Council to keep the park as it is – without any permanent structures other than trees – now and into the future.

Some brought up the “negatives” associated with disc park, but most were there to profess their affection for the park in its current state.

Before they had a chance to voice their opinions, however, Jankowski said that he had received information that Boyd had backed off on having the course at Centennial Park due to the neighbors’ concerns and was open to other locations.

When that was conveyed to Boyd yesterday, he said that he never agreed “with just dropping this.”

“I said if there was a good enough reason why they didn’t want it here other than it is a green natural park, which technically it is not, (then I would listen),” he said. “But it hasn’t been that at all.

"They say traffic. If you put anything in any public space, that public space will be used more. Therefore, there will be more traffic. If they have a better opposition except just those small things, I’ll leave it alone.”

He then said that a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course used to be at Centennial Park in the 1960s.

“No one wants to bring up that golf balls do way more damage than a disc could ever do,” he said. “The park used to have a fountain and a pond before things got changed over. Then, in time it was stopped and taken care of by New York State and then they gave it over to the city.”

CITY IS WAITING FOR INFORMATION

Tabelski said that an email from Maintenance Supervisor Ray Tourt indicated that he spoke with Boyd, who said he was willing to look at Kibbe and Williams parks if Centennial wasn’t available.

“The confusion stems from the fact that Phil has yet to submit the information that the Council president and staff has requested,” she said. “Even taking Centennial Park out of the mix, if you look to work with the city, there is a process to follow.”

She said that process includes review of any requests by the city manager, department heads and city attorney, considering financial and insurance implications. Once the review is complete, it then is brought forward to City Council for discussion and potentially to a vote.

“We’ve engaged with him and we’re waiting for his plans and documents,” she said, reiterating Council’s decision. “City Council will not consider Centennial due to its historic use and importance to the community.

“It was clear that it was the strong sense of Council that it is inappropriate. Phil has not reached out to myself or the Parks Department to further discuss an alternative location.”

DISC GOLFERS: A RESPONSIBLE GROUP

Boyd defended the disc golf community, one that he says is “very big on being as respectful as possible” and provided examples where disc golfers have won over those who initially were against them. He said disc golfers police each other and prioritize keeping the courses in top shape and free of debris.

“If somebody notices that someone does something not typical of our community, they’ll speak up to them and say, ‘Hey, that’s not what we do. Don’t make us look bad. Please refrain from doing that, and do it this way,’ ” he said.

He said disc golfers carry out the trash they carry in where no garbage cans are provided, and some disc golfers walk the courses to pick up trash left behind by other park goers.

“There’s plenty of room at Centennial Park,” said Boyd, comparing it to Pine Woods Park in North Tonawanda. “When they first started to put a course at Pine Woods, the residents in the neighborhood were so against it. They had picket signs in their front lawns that read, ‘No to disc golf.’”

“But eventually they got the course approved and they put in a nine-hole course. Two years after that, even after they had continued pushback from the neighborhood, the city approved an increase to an 18-hole course because the city realized how many people were coming to play. It was huge; the park was actually being used again.”

He said he mirrored his course layout after Pine Woods because it is similar to Centennial Park.

“The way I’ve set it up is that there will be room for other activities and still have disc golf,” he said, adding that it would take up about two-thirds of the park, stopping short of the hill used for winter sledding.

He said that he told Tourt that he walked all of the other parks and “there’s no other true park in Batavia other than Centennial that will give you a disc golf course that will bring anyone to it.”

CENTENNIAL? PAR FOR THE COURSE

Boyd said his nine-hole course works so well at Centennial Park because of the abundance of trees.

“You can set trees up in a fairway to make it more difficult hole. You can make holes so much shorter as long as the trees make it more difficult,” he explained, showing a printed Google map of the proposed course. “A few friends and I have placed portable baskets at the park and played the course a few times, and it works out great.”

He said the first hole starts at the corner of Park and Ellicott and is angled inward toward the park to avoid the road – a par 3, 300-foot shot. He said he tried keep everything away from the roads to avoid any possible danger.

“It works down Park Avenue for two of the holes and the third hole comes back toward the center of the park. The fourth hole goes about 50 feet short of the walkway and hole five brings you back down to the middle of the park,” he said.

“Six and seven are in the middle of the park, eight brings you to the outside and hole nine is up at the corner of Richmond and Ellicott and brings you down to where you first started.”

He said the average hole length is about 225 feet.

Hartland Park in Bergen has a nine-hole course that is similar to the one Boyd has drawn up. There, he said, disc golfers coexist with those walking their dogs and using the park for other purposes.

“There was opposition at first from people saying they didn’t want discs thrown in their backyards,” he offered. “That’s not the case anymore because people realize that the disc golf community is a good community, and there’s really no true harm in it. And people still walk their dogs there; I see them while I’m playing.”

COUNCILPERSON-AT-LARGE WEIGHS IN

Councilperson-at-Large Robert Bialkowski said he has been trying to educate himself about disc golf, talking to managers and officials at Darien State Park, Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island, and Lincoln Park in Buffalo – places that offer the activity.

He said the consensus is to have these courses away from the general public.

“The manager at Darien Lakes State Park said they have it on trails that aren’t used much,” Bialkowski said. “And the discs aren’t Frisbees; they’re special discs for different uses – short range, long range. If you get hit by one, it’s going to sting.”

He also said courses should be equipped with trash cans and some need additional landscaping to make them work.

“The manager at Lincoln Park said they have an 18-hole course that used 16 to 20 acres and it works out pretty well, except for one part that is near a picnic area,” he said.

Bialkowski explained that Batavia’s smaller neighborhood parks may be able to support a disc golf course, but noted that baseball and other athletic fields have taken space that previously was used for walking and hiking.

GCC COULD BE A POSSIBLE SITE

As far as Centennial Park is concerned, he said citizens have spoken, they enjoy the park as it is and Council has rendered its decision.

“Being an at-large councilman, I represent all of the citizens of the city,” he said. “We have to do our homework. I’m disappointed that Mr. Boyd isn’t satisfied with our process, but that’s the way it is.”

Jankowski said that he heard there was movement toward putting a disc golf course at Genesee Community College and encouraged Boyd to look into that as well as other possibilities.

“There might be better options out there and I find it interesting that he is so focused on one area and not any other opportunities that might be even better,” he said. “Let’s look into it.”

Boyd, in response, said he is aware of a course proposed for GCC and is assisting those who are spearheading that effort as well.

"They were having problems with finding funding and I’m now working with them to get the funding and quotes for the baskets, tee pads and signs with the people I have connections with," Boyd said, adding that it opens up the prospect of having disc golf courses in both the town and city. 

Previously: Residents speak out against disc golf at Centennial Park

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Photo at top: Phillip Boyd, wearing his disc golf jersey, displays his plans for a course that he hopes will find its way to the City of Batavia. Photo at bottom: The course that he designed for his preferred destination -- Centennial Park, which has been removed from consideration by City Council. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

July 12, 2021 - 9:09pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, Centennial Park, disc golf.

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Despite receiving prior assurances from several Batavia City Council members that Centennial Park was off the table as a possible location for a disc golf course in the city, representatives of the “Save the Park” committee weren’t taking any chances.

About 16 of them made their way to tonight’s City Council Conference Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room, with five of those people urging the board to maintain the aesthetics of the 14-acre natural setting by finding another place to put a nine-hole disc golf layout proposed by Batavia resident Phillip Boyd.

On May 24, Boyd attended a City Council meeting, hoping to persuade local lawmakers to let him and other enthusiasts of the sport set up a course at a city park. At that time, he stated that his group preferred Centennial Park, which is surrounded by Ellicott Avenue, Park Avenue, Richmond Avenue and State Street.

In recent days, residents in that area inundated Council members with emails and phone calls – and had “Letters to the Editor,” signs and other forms of communication ready to publicize their views.

Fast forward to tonight, even before they had a chance to protest, Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. informed them that Centennial Park is “off the list … and not even a consideration.”

Council Member Rose Mary Christian quickly remarked, “I’ll second it.”

Jankowski explained that the process of attempting to accommodate Boyd had just begun and required the “vetting process” involving police, fire and the Department of Public Works to see if it was a good fit for the city.

City Manager Rachael Tabelski added that she had spoken to Boyd, who said he understood residents’ concerns about having it at Centennial Park and agreed not to pursue that location.

“We may not have a park big enough” for a disc golf course, Jankowski said, but added that they will work with Genesee County officials to see if it could be situated somewhere else.

Council Member John Canale acknowledged that his phone and email “were on fire,” and appreciated the feedback, and also commended Boyd for “realizing it wasn’t a popular choice.”

“I hope we can find a spot for him,” Canale said.

Still, the Centennial Park supporters had come there prepared to speak and five weren’t leaving until they had their say.

Communicating that Centennial Park was established about 150 years ago in conjunction with the New York State School for the Blind, Ellicott Avenue resident Carl DeLuca emphasized that putting a disc golf course would occupy about two-thirds of the park.

“Those who have the freedom to choose an activity would be restricted to use of just one-third of the park’s area,” he said. “The proposed installation of disc golf would be a permanent impediment to the freedom of use for the general community.”

DeLuca, a retired teacher, mentioned several “negative impacts” of disc golf, including safety issues from the hurling of hardened plastic discs, excessive car parking, noise and large crowds.

“Also of importance are city budget constraints,” he contended. “This could mean that taxpayers would be unfairly burdened by paying for potential damages caused by a few.”

He cited articles that spoke of the unintended consequences of disc golf courses in inappropriate settings, with the demographics of those who participate in the sport mostly unconcerned of its environmental impacts.

Linda Daviau, who lives on Park Avenue, thanked Council for responding to her emails – “I really didn’t expect to hear from so many of you,” she said – but added that she wasn’t convinced that the board would have taken Centennial Park out of play “without hearing from so many citizens.”

She then shared a bit of history of the park, mentioning the NYSSB and the influence of Dean Richmond, and pointed out that for “over 40 years … we still enjoy seeing people enjoy the park.”

“The face of the park is great the way it is,” she concluded.

Judy Sikora, another Park Avenue resident, also thanked Council members and Tabelski for responding to the residents.

Stating that she had a petition with 150 signatures, Sikora spoke of Centennial Park’s grass and trees and “lovely flowing terrain” and called it a “lifesaver for many of us during COVID.”

“It really is a treasure,” she said. “Many cities would be envious.”

Sikora urged Council to not change the nature of what makes the park unique, and to continue the freedom of its use by all citizens.

She suggested finding a nonresidential area with adequate parking for the disc golf course.

“We’re not here to oppose disc golf but to support a park that we love,” she said.

Judy DeLuca, Carl’s wife, spoke of the health benefits of the park’s green space.

She referred to a National Institute of Health report that indicated that the use of urban green space was important to community health during times of stress, and asked Council members to take green space into account when they consider policy issues.

Finally, Karen Vasser of Lincoln Avenue said that her family has been part of that neighborhood for 67 years and that she has participated in the seasonal activities, including Picnic in the Park.

“We love this park,” she said, “and it deserves to be as pristine as it is today.”

Photo: Word that a disc golf course could be placed at Centennial Park prompted about 16 residents of that area in the northeast section of the city to find their way to tonight's City Council meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

July 8, 2021 - 1:19pm

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Glenn Adams shared these photos of yesterday's concert in Centennial Park by the Batavia Concert Band.

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June 28, 2021 - 9:26pm

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There’s some serious stuff going on around Washington Avenue, Willow Street and State Street -- and at least one resident is imploring City Council to do something about it.

“I’m just here tonight because I’m concerned about the neighborhood,” said Lynne Geissler, (in photo at top), noting that she has lived at Washington and Willow for four years. “I understand that it’s a different neighborhood.”

Geissler, speaking during the public comments portion of tonight’s Conference Meeting at City Centre Council Board Room, mentioned the increase in “criminal action,” adding that it is “horrible” and is taking place at all hours of the night, causing her to lose sleep.

“There’s got to be some way that … I don’t know,” she said. “I was going to go to the police department to talk to the police chief but they’re not letting anybody in (or so she believed). So, I figured I’d come down here to talk, to see, because there’s a lot of things going on and it has to be taken care of.”

She brought up that she has health issues and understands that drugs and mental disorders are real problems.

“But when you’re having the police at your house 20 times in a four-day period, and our landlord can’t do anything (and) we as tenants can’t do anything,” she said. “There’s got to be some way – CPS (Child Protective Services), there’s mental health, everybody’s involved but nothing’s getting fixed.”

Jankowski advised her to talk with Police Chief Shawn Heubusch directly after the meeting and set up an appointment.

Council Member Kathleen Briggs said that she has received calls from people living on State Street “and they’re telling me that they do call police and police are responding.”

“I also told them that they should contact their landlords and they said the landlords aren’t doing anything,” she added. “Police are doing what they can but don’t you think we have to hold these landlords accountable?”

It was mentioned that these instigators should be evicted, but current laws against eviction have tied landlords’ hands.

Geissler said her landlord is sympathetic but indicated that “if he went to evict someone right now – if it was one of his houses – it would be nine to 12 months before that person would be out.”

Afterward, Heubusch acknowledged that officers are dealing with "some serious things" and, without getting into details, said that investigations are ongoing.

“We will look into this further,” he said.

BOYD RESUMES DISC GOLF PITCH

Last month, city resident Phillip Boyd came to a City Council meeting to promote the placement of a disc golf course at a city park.

He reappeared tonight, flanked by six other disc golf enthusiasts, and said he has mapped out a course that would take up about two-thirds of Centennial Park, the 14-acre natural setting located in the north-central part of the city.

Boyd said he also has prices for how much sponsorship would cost.

“Now, I’m just looking for it to be actually brought up as an agenda item,” he said.

With that, City Council President Eugene Jankowski advised him to turn all his documents over to City Manager Rachael Tabelski and work with her going forward.

Two of his friends, Doug Forsyth and Louis Ortiz, also went up to the podium, speaking briefly while indicating that they backed Boyd’s efforts.

Forsyth said he heard about the matter from reading The Batavian and wanted to let Council know that his group has secured some funding for the initiative.

Tabelski said Centennial Park is the preferred location. She added that she will review Boyd’s proposal with department heads with the expectation of providing a recommendation to Council at the July 12 meeting.

In legislative matters, Council approved:

  • A resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to help fund an estimated $1.36 million project to replace 4- and 6-inch water lines on Jackson Street with 2,250 linear feet of 8-inch water main, and another setting a public hearing on the matter for 7 p.m. July 12. Tabelski said she thinks the grant, if received, could fund up to 90 percent of the project cost.
  • A resolution to award V.J. Gautieri Constructors $18,800 from the city’s Revolving Loan Fund Grant to help replace sidewalks at the Ellicott Place project at 45-47 Ellicott St. (Save-A-Lot building).
June 24, 2021 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, batavia, Centennial Park, news.

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The Batavia Concert Band performed its first concert of the 2021 season last evening in Centennial Park.

The public is encouraged to attend the free concerts at 7 p.m. every Wednesday through Aug. 4 in Centennial Park, located at 151 State St. in the city.

These concerts are "made completely possible through local funding."

Upcoming concerts and/or their sponsors:

Photos by Howard Owens.

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August 12, 2020 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Blue Pearl Yoga, Centennial Park, yoga.

From Blue Pearl Yoga:

Turns out the new Yoga in Centennial Park class is a big hit, so we have added another class.

In addition to the Tuesday afternoon classes this month from 7 to 8:15 p.m. with Lisa Ingalsbe, there will be classes from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday mornings with Marianne Skye (E-RYT, YACEP).

Breathe, move, recharge. This well-rounded yoga class offers many yoga pose variations, so those with different levels of experience can participate fully. Appropriate for adults and high school students (no young children).

You can relax while stretching and strengthening. There will be active yoga poses, breath work and stillness practices.  

The park is lovely, the shade is cool, and the people who come to yoga are nothing but sweet!

Centennial Park is located at 151 State St. in the city.

Cost is $10 per class.

Register online at least three hours before class -- absolutely no walk-ins.

Things to know:

  • Bring your own mat;
  • Bring your own optional yoga gear if you like, blocks, straps, blankets, water and sunscreen / bug spray might be good, too;
  • There are NO restroom facilities at Centennial Park;
  • Social distancing & face masks are required.

(If two or less people register, the teacher may opt to cancel. You will be notified through email and fully reimbursed.)

Note that the in-person yoga studio at 301 Main St., third floor of the Masonic Temple building Downtown, will be reopening Saturday, Sept. 19.

The Fall Schedule is being developed and they are seeking input about days/times/types of classes people want. Any input would be appreciated. Email: [email protected]

August 6, 2019 - 9:32am

Submitted photos and press release:

The sounds of laughter, music, and Shakespeare echo inside an old general store building on Main Street in Perry. When the door is opened, the company members of Shake on the Lake – the oldest-running professional Shakespeare Company in Wyoming County – are revealed.

This is their eighth summer season. Shake on the Lake began its 2019 tour in July, traveling to eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

Artists from throughout the country are staging Shakespeare’s most musical show, the pastoral comedy, "As You Like It." The resident company rehearses the show on site in Perry, specializing in “fast, fun, and physical” performances, which bring the arts to public spaces in rural communities.

The play will be performed in Batavia starting at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 8, in the city's Centennial Park.

No tickets required (show is free). Show is 90 minutes without an intermission. Bringing lawn chairs and blankets is recommended. All ages welcome.

Theater artist Josh Rice, who grew up in Perry and graduated from Perry Central School, cofounded Shake on the Lake. Eight seasons later, he returns every summer to produce Shakespeare with a company of professional actors from around the nation.

“We started Shake on the Lake with the intention to create a company based around play and trying to inject that spirit of play into our process, as well as our product," Rice said. "From day one, we focus on play-driven play-making where everyone – from company interns to our senior theater artists – can make a creative impact on the play.

"Giving artists ownership in the creation of a work, as well as the company itself, makes for a much-more rewarding and productive process.”

This summer the Artistic Team chose to tackle Shakespeare’s "As You Like It." The company went from script to show in two and a half weeks, during which time they also present young artist educational programming, community workshops, and outreach to Groveland Correctional Facility through their Voices UnCaged program, which recently received national recognition at the Arts in Corrections national conference in California. Actors live in the community for the summer, many of whom return year after year to work and eventually become seasonal residents.

One of those artists is Chad Bradford, who is associate artistic director for Shake on the Lake and is a founding company member. This summer’s tour is the fifth Shake on the Lake show Bradford has directed as he returns to Western New York after performing with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

“When I think about presenting Shakespeare in 90 minutes or less like we do at Shake on the Lake, it means we have to listen to each other and use collaboration to create our fun, fast, and physical shows,” Bradford said. “Our spectacle is original music, improvisation, and in having our actors having fun devising and performing.”

Shake on the Lake first began performing at its home stage, Silver Lake, where it continues to have a four-show residency during the first weekend in August. The company has transformed from a single venue to a region-wide tour with 18 shows.

“In the Elizabethan era, companies of performers would travel to the outskirts of the rural British countryside, set up shop, and perform these same Shakespearean plays,” Rice said. “Shake on the Lake echoes this history, and we thrive in communities that have similar rural sensibilities to those 400 years ago. Shakespeare has been performed everywhere, for everyone, and we’re proving that all communities deserve great theater --especially these rural ones.”

“We regularly have audiences in triple-figures," said Managing Director Pilar McKay. “To me, this shows that we are fulfilling our mission to create art that people want to be part of. Shake on the Lake is special because we live, work, and believe in our rural communities.”

Catch Shake on the Lake on tour this year in Wyoming County (Silver Lake – Perry/Castile, Letchworth St. Park, Arcade, and Attica), Genesee (Batavia), Orleans (Point Breeze and Lyndonville), Livingston (Geneseo and Linwood Gardens), Erie (Springville), Monroe (Brockport), Ontario (Cumming Nature Center), and Allegany (Angelica and Wellsville).

For more information about Shake on the Lake, click here.

Background:

Shake on the Lake is a live theater festival located in Silver Lake. Founded in 2012, as the only professional theater company in five adjacent counties in Western New York, the mission of the festival is to “entertain, engage, and enrich those in the community by creating theater productions in a natural outdoor setting.”

Show Synopsis:

"As You Like It" follows the story of Rosalind, who faces an uncertain future after the exile of her royal father by her uncle, the newly installed Duke Frederick. Buoyed by her loving cousin, Celia, and the rascally clown, Touchstone, Rosalind makes the best of her lot, and by chance, entrances the eyes of a brave young man, Orlando. After Orlando’s successful wrestling match against the Duke’s champion, both Orlando and Rosalind must secretly flee to uncertain lands to escape the eyre of the new duke as well as Orlando’s jealous brother, Oliver. They run separately to the Forest of Arden, fearing they will never see one another again, not knowing the magic and romance that awaits them in the forest.

Alternative Synopsis:

“All the world’s a stage,” and Shake on the Lake is poised to bring the “players with exits and entrances,” playing “many parts,” as they bring Shakespeare’s most musical comedy, "As You Like It," on tour across Western New York this summer. Join Rosalind, one of Shakespeare’s most savvy and strong heroines as she flees to the Forest of Arden with her comedic sidekicks to find her exiled father, Duke Senior. But what fate awaits her in the woods? Come find out as Shake on the Lake puts its fast, fun, and physical-style on display in this comedy about love, longing, and the beauty of the natural world, incorporating classic Shakespearean tropes like cross-dressing, mistaken identity, live music and songs, and...wrestling. All of Western New York is our stage in this 90-minute musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "As You Like It," on tour now through Aug. 11.

July 4, 2019 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in picnic in the park, batavia, Centennial Park, GO ART!, video.
Video Sponsor

Some sights and sounds from GO ART's annual Picnic in the Park today in Centennial Park.

February 1, 2019 - 12:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Centennial Park, batavia, news.

img_7404sunsetcentpark.jpg

Photo submitted by Melzie Case.

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