CORVALLIS, Ore. - Due to the astounding success of this past summer's outdoor production of "Romeo and Juliet," which included record theater attendance, enthusiastic crowds and critical acclaim, outdoor Shakespeare productions will now become an annual event at Oregon State University.

Adapted and directed by visiting instructor Scott Palmer, "Romeo and Juliet" drew nearly 3,000 audience members in nine days, making it the most popular event in the history of OSU's University Theatre program. It was the first Shakespeare play performed outdoors at OSU in nearly a century.

"This was an incredibly cheap and easy way to experience a full-scale Shakespearian production," Palmer said. "The outdoor setting makes it incredibly comfortable for people. I think we drew a lot of people who usually wouldn't go to a Shakespeare play."

Palmer, who is the artistic director of The Rose Theatre Project, has signed on to direct the 2007 outdoor production of Bard on the Quad. It will take place in July and August 2007 and will feature 10 performances of Shakespeare's comic/romantic exploration of the battle of the sexes, "Much Ado About Nothing." The production will be done in a World War II era-style, complete with big band music, military uniforms, swing dancing and large period set pieces, such as military jeeps and aircraft.

Palmer said the goal is to draw about 5,000 people to the next production.

"There are not a lot of outdoor Shakespeare productions done in the Willamette Valley, and Bard in the Quad is the only outdoor Shakespeare event at any Oregon University System institution," he said. "We have enormous resources being at a university, including an amazing costume department, the ability to have large casts and volunteers, and the unique backdrop of the Memorial Union and the quad."

"Much Ado About Nothing" will be performed July 25-29 and Aug. 1-5. Tickets will again only cost $10 for general admission, $7 for seniors and $5 for students. More details on the production, including information about a pre-show lecture series, will be announced at a later date.

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Scott Palmer,