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Date: Mar 01, 2010
"Twelfth Night" Headlines 61st Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival
March 11 to 21, 2010
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY ... A new imagining of Twelfth Night, set in post-Civil War South, is the featured production of Hofstra University's 61st Annual Shakespeare Festival, March 11 to 21 at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse.
Director Peter Sander, a professor of drama and dance at Hofstra, writes that he grappled with how to present Twelfth Night in a "way that was clear, challenging and maybe a little innovative." A blues number by Otis Taylor off the film soundtrack from Public Enemies, Orsino and Olivia's excessive romanticism and sentimentality, and references to Toby being a retired soldier were among the seeds that inspired a unique post Civil War setting.
Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 11; Friday, March 12 and 19; and Saturday, March 13 and 20; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 and 21. Tickets are $12, $10 for senior citizens (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra students with ID. Members of the Hofstra community may receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.
The tradition of the Hofstra Shakespeare Festival began with noted Shakepeare scholar John Cranford Adams, president of Hofstra from 1944 to 1964. The first Hofstra Shakespeare Festival, featuring Julius Caesar, opened on March 22, 1950. Professional actors were used in many of Hofstra's early Festivals, but the outstanding, available student talent soon made this not necessary. Notable casts over the years have included Phil Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond; Tony-nominees Tom McGowan and Peter Friedman; film and stage actor Joe Morton; film and television actresses Susan Sullivan, Margaret Colin and the late Madeline Kahn; and Tony-nominated Broadway director Susan Schulman, among many others. Even actress Kyra Sedgewick and Tony Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy, who are not Hofstra alumni, performed in the Shakespeare Festival High School Competition as teenagers. Dennehy has said his brief experience in the Festival helped ignite his love for acting.
This is the fifth time Twelfth Night has been performed on the Hofstra stage, tying it with Romeo and Juliet for the most repeated Festival play at Hofstra.
The main Shakespeare Festival play is always accompanied by a Festival Musicale and a companion play. This year the Hofstra Shakespeare Festival Musicale is "The Ideas of Mars," performed by the Hofstra Collegium Musicum, a student ensemble that presents concerts of early music, directed by Professor of Music William E. Hettrick. The companion play is a new one-hour Julius Caesar titled The Ides of March, adapted by Hofstra Professor Maureen Connolly McFeely.
This is the third year the Festival has featured a one-hour adaptation of a Shakespearean play, designed to introduce young theatergoers to the works of the Bard. "The Ideas of Mars" and The Ides of March will be performed together at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m., plus there will be a special performance of The Ides of March on March 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, $8 for senior citizens (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra students with ID. Tickets for the March 18 performance of The Ides of March are $6. Members of the Hofstra community may receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.
For tickets and more information about any of the performances associated with the 61st Annual Shakespeare Festival, please call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644 or visit www.hofstra.edu/drama .