Monday, February 06, 2006

The American Shakespeare Center, a touring troupe of Shakespearean actors from Staunton, Va., visited Fairmont State from Jan. 22-28 for an on-campus residency. Their visit was sponsored by the Fairmont State GEAR-UP Partnership, the School of Fine Arts, the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Language & Literature.

"This was a great series of events by any measure," said Dr. Daniel Bradley, Fairmont State University President.

About 60 people attended an opening reception, hosted by Cheri Bradley at the Shaw House, to welcome the troupe to Fairmont and to campus.

In addition to public performances of "Richard III," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Return to the Forbidden Planet," the professional troupe of actors also gave free morning performances for the area's GEAR-UP students. About 1,070 people attended the public shows; and about 860 middle and high school students attended the GEAR-UP performances.

Educational workshops, which were free and open to the public, were available throughout the week of Jan. 23 on topics such as stage combat, the differences between acting in a Shakespearean play and a contemporary play and understanding how Shakespeare portrayed leaders. About 270 Fairmont State students and 70 people from the local community attended the workshops. Also, about 35 people attended a showing of the film, "Forbidden Planet," at the Book'n'Bean in Fairmont.

"From the opening reception to the closing performance, I heard nothing but praise for the troupe, the workshops and the plays," said Dr. Rhonda Sanford. "The troupe members enjoyed their stay in Fairmont, our campus and our students."