Setting the scene: Shakespeare in the Park Festival
It's a starlit evening and the sun is slowly sinking behind the trees.
Crowds of people are being drawn into the park with blankets, rugs, beanbags and hampers in hand ready to set-up their picnic dinners.
Corks pop, cheese knives clatter and conversation draws to a crescendo.
The lights dim, the crowd lulls in anticipation as suddenly, the stunning open-air stage comes to life.
Welcome to the magic of USQ's Shakespeare in the Park Festival.
Since its inception in 2004, over 30 000 theatre-goers have experienced the spectacle of live theatre at the annual Shakespearean Festival
It has become a much-anticipated event on the South East Queensland cultural calendar, offering residents and visitors a unique Shakespearean experience.
Many a heart fluttered at Romeo and Juliet (2008) while Macbeth (2007) and Hamlet (2004) wowed audiences with their powerful tales and Twelfth Night (2010), The Tempest (2009), Comedy of Errors (2006) and Taming of the Shrew (2005) showed-off the lighter side of Shakespeare.
This Spring, audiences will be treated to Shakespeare's beloved comic romance, A Midsummer Night's Dream performed against a stunning backdrop of stars and moonlight.
The production will feature Alumni and final-year Acting students from USQ's School of Creative Arts, under the direction of Scott Alderdice, with costumes and sets designed by Carolyn Taylor-Smith.
The season runs from 7-9 and 13-15 October in Queens Park, Toowoomba and then tours to Hervey Bay on 21 and 22 October.
For more information about the Festival visit www.usq.edu.au/shakespeare.