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Date: Feb 16, 2012
"Much Ado About Nothing" Headlines Shakespeare Festival
March 1 to 11, 2012
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … A new imagining of Much Ado About Nothing, set on the North Shore of Long Island at the close of WWI, is the featured production of Hofstra University’s 63rd Annual Shakespeare Festival, March 1 to 11 at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, South Campus.
Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jean Dobie Giebel, is a witty, multifaceted comedy about two sets of lovers: one battling an evil plot, while the other battles each other. The setting for their battle of wits is drawn from a group of young men returning home from war. Leisure does not seem to suit these soldiers, and so they create intrigues to pass the time. In a counterpoint to the main plot, Shakespeare has set two of his most memorable characters, Beatrice and Benedick. Although brought together by a ruse, Benedick meets his match in Beatrice. He is not meant to “woo peaceably,” and neither is she, but Benedick must now lay down his arms and trade trenches for garden parties, bullets for witty banter, and marches for the fox trot, while Shakespeare reminds us “the course of true love never did run smooth” so sometimes it takes us a little bit longer than expected to find our way home.
Show times are March 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. and March 4 and 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 senior citizen (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra student with ID. Members of the Hofstra community may receive up to two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets and more information call the Hofstra Box Office at 516-463-6644.
The tradition of the Hofstra Shakespeare Festival began with noted Shakespeare 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 a 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.
The main Shakespeare Festival play is always accompanied by a Festival Musicale and a companion play. This year the Hofstra Shakespeare Festival Musicale is “2 Bs or Not 2 Bs,” performed by the Hofstra Collegium Musicum, a student ensemble that presents concerts of early music, directed by Professor of Music William E. Hettrick. The Collegium Musicum includes ensembles of voices and historical instruments from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The 2012 companion play is a new one-hour Hamlet titled Hamlet: A Bare Bodkin, abridged and directed by Hofstra Adjunct Associate Professor Ed Elefterion. This is the fifth year that Hofstra’s Shakespeare Festival has featured a one-hour adaptation of a Shakespearean play, designed to introduce young theatergoers to the works of the Bard. Hofstra students also take the companion play on the road to perform at local high schools. For many local students, this Hofstra tour is their first exposure to the work of Shakespeare.
“2 Bs or not 2 Bs” and Hamlet: A Bare Bodkin will be performed together at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on Saturday, March 3 and 10, at 2 p.m., plus there will be a special performance of Hamlet: A Bare Bodkin on March 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11, $8 for senior citizens (over 65) or matriculated non-Hofstra students with ID. Tickets for the March 8 performance of Hamlet: A Bare Bodkin are $6. Members of the Hofstra community may receive two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.
For tickets and more information about any of the performances associated with the 63rd Annual Shakespeare Festival, please call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644 or visit www.hofstra.edu/drama .
Related Link: Department of Drama and Dance