High Tea at South Dakota’s Shakespeare Gardens

If you’ve never visited South Dakota’s Shakespeare Garden and Anne Hathaway Cottage, two upcoming events present the perfect opportunity.

The Shakespeare Garden, nestled in the hamlet of Wessington Springs, was started on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, in 1927.  Today it sits behind the Anne Hathaway Cottage, a thatched-roof cottage modeled after the original in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.  It was created in 1932 by Clark and Emma Shay, upon their retirement from teaching.  Today the Shakespeare Garden Society of Wessington Springs upkeeps and looks after the cottage and gardens, preserving them for years to come.

August 7 and 8 present two opportunities to visit the Shakespeare Gardens and Anne Hathaway house, and participate in the Shakespearean tradition.  On August 7, the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum will host a high tea and Shakespeare Garden tour.  The event will begin with a tradition high tea, complete with tea, fancy finger sandwiches, fruit, and desserts. Followign high tea, visitors will be taken on a guided tour of the gardens and the cottage.

On August 8, teens and adults can participate in an acting workshop in the gardens in the morning, and experience the Shakespeare play "Two Gentlemen of Verona" in the evening.  Both the acting workshop and the play are put on by the Bare Bodkins Theater Company from Sioux Falls.

The acting workshop is free of cost (freewill donations are encouraged), and the play is $5 at the garden gate, children under 13 are free.  Attendees should bring a lawn chair.  

Cost for the garden tour and  high tea is $35, which includes travel from Brookings, high tea, and a one hour tour of the gardens.  For more information about the tour, call 605-688-6226.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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