Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Upcoming: Actors from the London Stage and Shakespeare Scholar James Shapiro at the University of Texas, September 28 - October 6

Actors from the London Stage

Residency and performances of
William Shakespeare’s 


September 28 - October 6
Actors from the London Stage 2012 Pre-Residency Events: Friday, September 28th @ 3 pm and 6:30 pm
Residency Week: Monday through Saturday, October 1st - 6th
Performances: Wednesday - Friday, October 3rd – 5th @ 7:30 pm and Saturday, October 6th @ 7 pm
Wednesday – Friday, October 3rd – 5th performances @ Hogg Auditorium,UT Campus, Austin, TX
Saturday, October 6th performance @ Winedale Theatre Barn, near Round Top, TX

TICKETS: General Admission - $20; UT Faculty/UT Staff/Students - $10
For Hogg Auditorium performances, call 512.477.6060 or visit utexas.edu/cola/Shakespeare
For Winedale performances, call 512.471.4726 or visit shakespeare-winedale.org

The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s darker comedies, aptly begins, “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.” The play highlights the conflict of spiritual and material values in the cosmopolitan city of Venice. When a bond is forfeit for lack of payment, religious tensions erupt into a threat of bloody revenge. Meanwhile, three caskets and a dead father’s will determine the fate of a rich young woman and her suitors. Justice and mercy hang in the balance in a courtroom where nothing is as it seems. Light-hearted elements of song and disguise complement this provocative exploration of ethical values. 

Based at the University of Notre Dame, Actors from the London Stage is an educational program, which brings 5 classically trained actors from major English theaters to college campuses around the United States. As part of their residency with UT, they will teach approximately 30 classes and workshops and perform The Merchant of Venice four times using only 5 actors and minimal props and costumes. The AFTLS performance style emphasizes language, characterization, and the dramatic force of Shakespeare’s works through compelling and minimalist staging. 

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Department of English and the support of the Department of Theatre and Dance, the President’s Office, the University Co-Op, the Graduate School’s George P. Macatee III Centennial Lectureship, the Center for European Studies, and the College of Liberal Arts, AFTLS will once again bring their special kind of magic to the stage. In addition to the performances, there will be two unique pre-residency events. The first will be a guest lecture by international best selling author and Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro on “Imagining Jews in Shakespeare’s England,” as part of the British Studies Lecture Series.  

This event will take place at 3pm on Friday, September 28th, in the Prothro Theater at the Harry Ransom Center. 

Following this event, we will be celebrating ten years of Shakespeare and the Law, an annual panel that explores the intersection of Shakespeare’s plays and their legal issues. This year’s panel will include Angela Littwin (UT Law), Alan Friedman (UT English), James Loehlin (UT English), James Shapiro (Columbia University). 

There will also be performances of the courtroom scene from The Merchant of Venice by Spirit of Shakespeare, UT’s Department of Theatre and Dance, and award winning theatre company The Hidden Room. It will be at the Eidman Courtroom in the UT Law School at 6:30pm on Friday, Sept, 28th with a catered reception before the evening’s festivities. 

During the residency week, there will be a poetry reading of “The Poetry of Jacques Prévert” by AFTLS company member Michael Palmer (playing the role of Shylock) as part of the UT series, “Poetry on the Plaza” on October 3rd at 12 noon. For more information about events and showings or to purchase tickets, please visit online at utexas.edu/cola/Shakespeare

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