The Summer Shakespeare Ensemble returns for its annual plein-air production at Brookdale Community College, as A WINTER’S TALE continues for four more evening performances, July 17 – 20.

Is it a tragedy or a comedy? A breath mint or a candy mint? Scholars refer to William Shakespeare’s late-career play The Winter’s Tale as a “problem” play; a twisted romance that traces a dark and unhappy path for many of its characters (there’s that notorious stage direction “exit, pursued by a bear”), while not being above injecting a dose of magical serendipity in the service of a happy ending. The play, which opened last weekend as the latest in the long-running Summer Shakespeare Ensemble series at Brookdale Community College, continues just the way the Bard meant it — out of doors, under the sun and stars, on the lawn adjacent to Larrison Hall on the Lincroft campus — for four more performances, July 17 through 20.

The invisible curtain comes up Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 pm, with the season-closing performance on Sunday at 6 pm. Admission is fabulously free, with attendees encouraged to bring a light jacket, beach chair/ blanket, and a picnic repast — and in case of tempests, cataracts and hurricanoes, get thee to the nearby Performing Arts Center, where the show continues apace. Call (732)224-2411 for additional info.