Friday, January 20, 2006

The American Shakespeare Center will present, in addition to the public performances of "Return to the Forbidden Planet," Jan. 26; "Richard III," Jan. 27; and "Much Ado about Nothing," Jan. 28, opportunities to attend special workshops on aspects of theatrical production and Shakespeare's characters.

"On Your Feet" will feature a discussion by the actors of some of the differences between acting in a Shakespeare play and acting in a contemporary play. The actors will then, following a brief vocal and physical warm-up with the group, lead participants in exercises on scansion, paraphrasing, using the text to find character clues and how physical choices can help illuminate the text for the audience. Participants will also examine the differences between verse and prose and how the two styles inform character choices. Volunteer participants will then "get on their feet" to perform a brief scene or part of a scene from Shakespeare. The workshops will be presented Monday, Jan. 23, and Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre.

"Shakespeare and Leaders" will look at the understanding Shakespeare possessed to comprehend how and why leaders obtained--or failed to obtain--something from the people or situations around them. Shakespeare could then portray leaders as heroic or flawed, or both, as is often the case. The actors will look at some of the leadership models provided in the plays on the 2005-2006 tour and use those models to demonstrate both the vocal and physical tools of leadership. This workshop will be presented at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, in Room 314 Wallman Hall.

"Stage Combat" will present actors from the troupe who will demonstrate techniques of stage combat and explain the decisions that went into choreographing the stage violence in the tour productions. What are the goals of the director and fight coordinator in planning stage combat? How does the text suggest the quality, quantity and shape of the stage violence? How does the character influence fight choreography? The workshop will be presented on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 10 a.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre.

For more information, call Marian J. Hollinger, Fine Arts Advocate, at (304) 367-4300.