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Date: Mar 01, 2010
Students Take The Hofstra Shakespeare Festival on the Road: New Hour-Length Adaptation of Julius Caesar to Be Performed at Hofstra (March 13, 18, 20) and Area High Schools
Tour Stops at Lawrence Woodmere Academy (March 5), Our Savior American School in Centereach (March 10), Longwood High School (March 11), and Amityville UFSK (March 17)
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY: In March Hofstra University presents its 61st annual Shakespeare Festival at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. New to this University tradition is a one-hour adaptation of a Shakespeare classic, designed to introduce young theatergoers to classic theater. This year's one-hour companion play is The Ides of March by longtime English professor and Shakespearean scholar Maureen McFeely, a resident of Garden City. In addition to three performances at the Hofstra Playhouse on March 13, 18 and 20, this shortened version of Julius Caesar will tour Long Island high schools, and for many teens it will be their first Shakespearean theatrical experience.
This version of Julius Caesar and the high school tour were made possible by a gift to the University from Dr. David Salten, who had a long and influential career in local education until his passing in 2006. Dr. Salten was a former superintendent for the Long Beach school system, an expert on school desegregation in the late 1950s and a longtime supporter of Hofstra's Shakespeare Festival. Because of his generous endowment, Jean Giebel, chair of Hofstra's Department of Drama and Dance, conceived of an outreach program that involved creating shortened and more accessible versions of Shakespeare's plays, suitable for younger audiences. She invited Dr. McFeely to participate in this new component of the Shakespeare Festival.
This is the third year Dr. McFeely has adapted Shakespeare's plays for the Festival. Last year, she worked on a one-hour version of Macbeth and the inaugural year she tackled Romeo and Juliet. Dr. McFeely hopes that these condensed versions of Shakespearean plays that are often taught in high school are a great way for teachers and parents to introduce their students and teenagers to the works of Shakespeare.
The Ides of March is currently scheduled to perform for classes at four local high schools. Taking this show on the road is a big responsibility for the Hofstra students who are in charge of the mobile set, transportation, set up and dismantling scenery. The high school visits include Lawrence Woodmere Academy (March 5), Our Savior American School in Centereach (March 10), Longwood High School (March 11), and Amityville UFSK (March 17). The Hofstra students are assisted by James P. Hart, production manager and technical director for the Department of Drama and Dance, who books the tour and serves as a liaison with the local schools. For more information on the school visits call the Hofstra Department of Drama and Dance at (516) 463-5444.
For those interested in attending one of the Hofstra performances of The Ides of March, it will be performed with a concert titled "The Ideas of Mars" by the Hofstra Collegium Musicum on Saturday, March 13 and 20, at 2 p.m. at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. Tickets are $10, $8 for senior citizens and non-Hofstra students with ID. There will also be a Thursday, March 18, 8 p.m. performance of The Ides of March, and tickets on this date are $6. For tickets to these performances, call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644.