Acting Company Debuts 'The Tempest' at USAO March 4
CHICKASHA -- Magic, love, comedy and tragedy weave an intriguing tale of revenge and forgiveness when New York-based The Acting Company brings Shakespeare's " The Tempest" alive March 4 at the University of Science and Arts.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium, audiences will be taken on a spellbinding journey to a magical island where usurped wizard Prospero plays puppeteer to his unsuspecting enemies. In Shakespeare's final play, Prospero plans to exact revenge yet, ultimately, finds peace and the ability to forgive.
As the final act in the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series, tickets are on sale in the USAO Business Office or by phone at (405) 574-1213.
" We have been looking forward to this performance for a long time," said Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music and coordinator for the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series. " The university hasn't had a full-scale professional drama production in the 13 years that I have been here, and maybe even a long time before then."
Based in New York, the Tony- and Obie-award winning Acting Company transforms the classic play into captivating theater designed for audiences of all ages. Founded in 1972 by famous actor and director John Houseman and Margot Harley, The Acting Company has jumpstarted careers for the likes of Kevin Kline, Frances Conroy, Jesse L. Martin, Patti LuPone and hundreds more.
While on tour, the company presents master classes, student matinees and one-hour, performance-based workshops of Shakespeare for younger audiences. A special abbreviated performance is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 5 in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium for local students. Tickets are $1 for the general public and free for Chickasha public school students.
In 2003, the touring company was honored not only with multiple Tony awards, but also was selected to bring Shakespeare in American Communities across the country by the National Endowment for the Arts.
According to The Acting Company's touring program, the company collaborates with leading directors and designers to revitalize the classics and introduce exciting, original theater. It develops young American actors by giving them an opportunity to practice their craft in a repertory of classic plays and new works, builds a discerning national audience for the theater by playing productions on tour nationwide for diverse audiences and educates students through master classes, student matinees, performance-based workshops of Shakespeare for younger audiences and Literacy Through Theater artistic residencies.
With 129 productions in 48 states and 10 foreign countries behind it, The Acting Company has performed for an audience of millions across the globe.
Members of The Acting Company selected " The Tempest" for its universal theme of reconciliation.
" It should be a great evening for classical drama," said Bohannon.
The Acting Company's production coincides with another special Shakespearean event, when literary historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist Stephen Greenblatt visits USAO for the annual Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium March 6 at 8 p.m. in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. Greenblatt is a Harvard University professor and specialist in Shakespeare, 16th and 17th century English literature and the literature of travel.
Additional information about the Liberal Arts Symposium and Greenblatt is available online at www.usao.edu.
The Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series is celebrating its seventh season, thanks to the support of the USAO Foundation and KOOL 105.5 radio with generous underwriting by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
Additional support is made possible by the Chickasha Public School Foundation, First National Bank & Trust Company, Alliance Oil & Gas Company, Chickasha Bank & Trust Co., Arvest Bank, Best Western, Mosley Insurance Agency, Livingston Machinery and several other local businesses, organizations and individuals.