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Festival spotlights Shakespeare, Kipling classics

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Festival Theatre Ensemble is gearing up to launch its 11th annual Midpeninsula Shakespeare Festival, which will feature two works by the Bard and a stage adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

Performed under the stars at Mid-Peninsula High School in Menlo Park, the plays will be staged in repertory: "The Merry Wives of Windsor," opening Saturday, June 6; "A Midsummer Night's Dream," opening Friday, June 12; and "The Jungle Book," opening June 19.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sundays through June 28.

Admission is free, though donations are "cheerfully accepted" by the nonprofit theater troupe, according to a press release.

"The Merry Wives of Windsor," the comic tale of the infamous Sir John Falstaff, will be directed by Bruce De Les Dernier, Festival Theatre Ensemble's artistic director. In addition to its opening night, it will be performed June 7, 14 and 28.

Mr. De Les Dernier also will direct the magical romantic comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Additional performances are set for June 13, 21 and 26.

Troy Johnson will direct Will Huddleston's adaptation of "The Jungle Book." Additional performances are set for June 20 and 27.

Mid-Peninsula High School is at 1340 Willow Road. The outdoor stage is off the parking lot west of the school. Seating is provided, and wheelchair seating is available.

Play-goers are advised to dress warmly, as evenings are chilly even if the day is warm.

For more information, call 408-996-0635.

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