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Adirondack Shakespeare Company Set To Begin Season Days After Accident

Adirondack Shakespeare Company

The Adirondack Shakespeare Company is moving forward with two shows after a car accident injured four of its players a week before opening night. The group that is pushing on through tears with laughter shared their story with WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard.

Last Thursday, after members of the Adirondack Shakespeare Company arrived in Albany from New York City and were traveling north, five of the actors in one of the company vans were involved in a head-on collision on Route 28 near Johnsburg in Warren County.

The southbound vehicle that crossed the center line was driven by Angus Wang of Ontario, Canada, who sustained minor injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's office.

Sam Bruce, Mia Canter, Kathleen O’Neal, and Patrick Siler were treated and released early the next morning at Glens Falls Hospital. Sean Lounsbury was airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

Lounsbury suffered a skull fracture in the accident and underwent neurosurgery. He was released from Albany Med on Wednesday.

Tara Bradway is Artistic Director of Adirondack Shakespeare.

"I can feel it affecting the rehearsal process, but there's so much positive coming out it, "said Bradway, fighting back tears. "We're a very close-knit group, anyway, and it always feels like a family when people come up here and work with us, but this group has just been so extraordinary."

Bradway said the members in the other vehicle on their way up north that night stopped at the site of the accident to assist the injured players.

The company was set to open two shows this weekend, Hamlet and The Winter's Tale. Due to the accident, The Winter's Tale opening night was moved from Friday to Saturday.

Player Collin McConnell....

"The choice to move forward with the shows and do them together became, of course, not just helpful and useful for the company, but something, a way of bringing us together, creating a wholeness within all of us," said McConnell.

In the days after the accident, Bradway said the company rallied to keep their spirits up while Lounsbury was recovering in the hospital. 

"Sean is just about the funniest person that I know and I feel like we're making extra jokes and trying to make each other smile, and that's so much in the spirit of Sean that I just see that really bringing the group together."

And in that support of their friend, the actors couldn't help themselves from playing a prank on Lounsbury in his Albany hospital room. Calder Shilling explains....

"We brought down mementos and things for him as well, including a large-scale three- or four-person puppet, It took up several seats in a car, that Sean had interacted with several summers before. It was part of the children's show David and Goliath. So there's this large Goliath puppet that we brought down and put it in his hospital bed, which was pretty hilarious," laughed Shilling.

Adirondack Shakespeare's production of The Winter's Tale will open on Saturday at the Bull House Restaurant in Chestertown. Hamlet opens Sunday at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs.

The group has also canceled an educational performance of Hamlet, one of two shows set for next Thursday in Plattsburgh.

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