Friday, September 18, 2015

An autumn tradition: Shakespeare in the North Country

It’s time once again for a favorite part of fall, the American Shakespeare Center performances, and your favorite duty, which is telling others that FREE tickets are now available at the Brewer Bookstore and the Sullivan Student Center. For those who shamelessly procrastinate, FREE tickets should be available at the door of each night's performance.  Since they are FREE, I might be wrong, and if I am, shame on you!

If you’re new to St. Lawrence University, the American Shakespeare Center’s touring troupe, based in Staunton, VA, has visited us for nearly 25 years, since 1992 (we’re one of only 3 colleges in the country with such a long relationship). The actors bring us three shows a year, typically two of Shakespeare’s plays and one from his era, and offer workshops here as well. This year, however, we’ll get to see a late-Victorian comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, along with Henry V, and Julius Caesar. These are modified original practices performances: the house lights stay on, the actors do not perform on an elevated stage (you’re encouraged to stand up to see, as some in Shakespeare’s audience would have done), there are no microphones, and there is lots of music. It’s a lot of fun, particularly if you sit in the front row, where you might become part of the action.


All tickets are FREE this year, but as always I do recommend picking them up early, and arriving to the shows around a half hour early, to catch some of the pre-show music and to get a great seat.

All performances are in Eben Holden Center. The schedule is:

• Thursday, October 8, 7:30 pm, Henry V
• Friday, October 9, 7:30 pm, Henry V
• Saturday, October 10, 7:30 pm, Julius Caesar
• Saturday, October 10, Midnight, The Importance of Being Earnest
• Sunday, October 11, 5:30 pm, The Importance of Being Earnest

Do note that SLU’s traditional midnight performance (did you know we are the only campus in the country for whom the actors are willing to perform at midnight?)—my consistent pick for best show, year after year; there’s some adrenaline in that room—has moved from Friday to Saturday. Sunday’s performance, too, has moved later into the evening by popular request.

Finally, this year, we’re featuring two events in conjunction with the performances:
• a FREE lecture by Dr. Sarah Skwire of the Liberty Fund on “Political Economics in Henry V” in Sykes at 8 pm on Wednesday, October 7
• a FREE panel discussion on “The Economics of Performance and Production” featuring PCA’s own Zip Trainor, visiting ASC actor Andrew Goldwasser, and Dr. Skwire at noon on Thursday, October 8 in Eben Holden North (you’re encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch)

[Shamelessly plagiarized in large part from a campus email sent by Sarah Barber of the English Department and there is nothing you can do about it.  So there!]