Shakespeare Walla Walla teams up with Cougars

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William Shakespeare wasn't from Walla Walla, and he wasn't a Coug, but that's not stoppng either group from partying in his name next week.

Washington State University alumni, fans, friends or bandwagon jumpers can come together to celebrate Shakespeare in a Cougar Weekend with Shakespeare Walla Walla Aug. 5-6.

The event is hosted by the WSU Alumni Association and Shakespeare Walla Walla. It's the first of its kind for either organization, and Shakespeare Walla Walla hopes the two-day wine, food and theater experience sets a good precedent for groups to experience Walla Walla.

"We realized that this was a great way to experience Walla Walla in a 3-Dimensional way," Shakespeare Walla Walla organizer Denise Slattery said. "There's wine, dining and staying over. It's kind of a whole big Walla Walla experience and showing everything we have to offer. We want people to come and indulge in everything we've got."

Shakespeare Walla Walla will run as a festival format this year, with shows at two locations over three days.

"It's a great opportunity to gather a group, especially at the amphitheater," Slattery said. "It's easy to arrange general seating for a large group."

The WSU Alumni Association saw a chance to engage.

"We've never had the opportunity to take part in such a unique experience," said Alumni Association coordinator and Touchet native Carrie Neppel. "This event has so many great elements and is such a fun way to bring WSU grads together."

It's also a unique way to experience Walla Walla, and isn't open to just those who bleed Crimson.

At $75 for one or $125 for a couple, the weekend begins with registration at 4 p.m. Aug. 5, then a private dinner at Foundry Vineyards, including appearances by actors from the Seattle Shakespeare Company. There will be a viewing of "Macbeth" at the Fort Walla Walla Amphitheater; afternoon wine tastings at Cougar-owned or managed wineries, a private dinner prepared by Green Spoon Chef Gene Soto at the restaurant's private dining room on Rose Street and a viewing of of "Swansong" in the Power House Theatre.

Transportation will be provided from the Marcus Whitman hotel to all off-site Friday and Saturday activities.

For more information, contact Neppel at carrie.neppel@wsu.edu, or register online through alumni.wsu.edu.

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