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Date: Feb 06, 2008
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JOHN CRANFORD ADAMS PLAYHOUSE
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Hofstra University’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse, a 40,504 square foot building with a complete stage and box office, will celebrate its golden anniversary in 2008. In addition to theatrical performances, the Playhouse has accommodated a wide variety of notable concerts, readings and lectures by renowned artists, celebrities, authors, scholars and world leaders, including former presidents of the United States.
Many Hofstra students who have gone on to great success in the performing arts realized their first taste of theatrical success on the John Cranford Adams Playhouse stage. Among them are Francis Ford Coppola, the late Madeline Kahn, Lainie Kazan, Susan Sullivan, Susan H. Schulman, Joe Morton, Robert Davi, Phil Rosenthal, Tom McGowan, Peter Friedman, Margaret Colin and Leslie Segrete. Even Tony Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy, who is not a graduate of the University but performed in Hofstra’s Shakespeare Festival high school competition as a youth, said at a commencement address at Hofstra that he was turned on to acting after his experience at the Playhouse.
The John Cranford Adams Playhouse was designed by Aymar Embury who also did early alterations in 1961-1963. In 1974 the building was dedicated to Hofstra’s third president John Cranford Adams, a renowned Shakespearean scholar.
March 6 to 16, 2008, the Playhouse will be the site of the University’s 59th Annual Shakespeare Festival, featuring Hamlet on Hofstra’s famous reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe stage. Every part of the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, from the scaffolding to the lighting, was designed with the Globe reconstruction in mind.
Dr. John Cranford Adams was the principal founder of Hofstra’s Shakespeare Festival. Hofstra's Globe Stage, a 5/6 replica of Shakespeare's stage built in 1950, was based on a model he created for his Ph.D. research. Hofstra’s reconstruction of the Globe theater stage was the first such venture in the Eastern United States, and Dr. Adams’s original model of the Globe has been moved to a new display case located in the lower level of the Playhouse.
Dr. Adams served as Hofstra’s president from 1944-1964 and afterward served as president emeritus. In addition to the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, there is a John Cranford Adams Chair in Literature, currently held by Dr. Philip Lopate.
Dr. Adams began his career as an instructor in English at Syracuse University in 1928. Two years later, he joined Cornell University as an instructor. In 1937 and 1938, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Folger-Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. and for many years, the Folger-Shakespeare Library exhibited the model of the Globe Playhouse that Dr. Adams designed.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 145 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence, cutting edge technology, extensive library resources, internships and special educational programs that appeal to their interests and abilities. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.