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Shakespeare Plays on Stage in January Impact
Fairmont State News

Shakespeare Plays on Stage in January

Dec 19, 2007

The American Shakespeare Center returns to the Fairmont State University campus for a third year to present two of Shakespeare's plays. "The Taming of the Shrew" will be performed on Saturday, January 26, 2008, at 7:30 p.m., and "The Merchant of Venice" will be performed on Sunday, January 27, 2008, at 2 p.m., in Wallman Hall Theatre.

For tickets, please call the Box Office at (304) 367-4240. Fairmont State GEAR UP families should call the GEAR UP Office at (304) 367-0436 for ticket arrangements.

"The Taming of the Shrew," one of Shakespeare's most popular and most popularized plays, (think of the musical, "Kiss Me, Kate") has as its main theme, the "taming" of Katherine (Kate) whose sharp tongue and biting wit drives away suitors for her hand. As her sister, Bianca, cannot marry until Kate does, the audience soon sees why "the shrew" (Kate) needs some reigning in of her behavior.

As typical in a Shakespeare comedy, there are several sub-plots and stories which culminate, ultimately, in three marriages and the "taming of the shrew." In the final scene, Petruchio, who has the onerous/pleasant task of taming Katherine and illustrating publicly that he has done so, celebrates this event by saying, "Kiss me, Kate," and she does.

Thought to have been written 1596-1598, "The Merchant of Venice" has both dramatic and comedic moments. Despite the title of the play, many viewers will recall Shylock and Portia and the famous "pound of flesh" scene longer than they may remember Bassanio, the merchant. Many books and essays have been written about the character of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender whose name became synonymous with his profession, and the anti-Semitic nature of Shakespeare's play; at least as many have presented different opinions, painting Shylock as a sympathetic figure. Viewers will have the experience of reaching their own conclusions about Shylock and the pleasure of seeing him, in the end, bested by the woman--Portia.

There will also be Shakespeare Public Workshops presented by company members. To register for one of the workshops, contact the Pierpont Community & Technical College of FSU Community Education Office at (304) 367-4913.

Workshops to be offered are the following:

Tuesday, January 23, 2008, at 7 p.m., Wallman Hall Theatre
* Shakespeare's Rhythm and Line'Iambic Pentameter and how to use it.
Iambic pentameter is the basic rhythm of Shakespeare's plays. This workshop will take an in-depth look at what this rhythm is and what we can learn from it. (30 enrollment limit)

Tuesday, January 23, 2008, at 8:15 p.m., Wallman Hall Theatre
* Shakespeare on Your Feet
Participants will explore the dynamic of performing Shakespeare rather than just reading the text. Students will take a line of text or a short exchange between characters and perform a variety of vocal, physical, and emotional exercises designed to make the text come alive. (30 enrollment limit)

Saturday, January 27, 2008, at 10 a.m., Wallman Hall Theatre
* Stage Combat
Actors from the troupe will demonstrate techniques of stage combat and explain the decisions that went into choreographing the stage violence in the tour productions. The focus of this workshop will be lecture/demonstration rather than an interactive experience.