Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Middletown Theater Company Brings Shakespeare to Campus

Audrey Touchstone. Photo: Bill Dekine

The Middletown-based theater company ARTFARM recently received a $20,000 grant from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts to partner with Middlesex Community College on a six-month initiative which will bring Shakespeare to the campus and central Connecticut community throughout the spring and summer semesters.

“Shakespeare on Campus, 2013” will culminate in ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove production of Much Ado About Nothing  July 18-28. This will be the eighth summer that ARTFARM has presented professional outdoor Shakespeare in the beautiful Grove overlooking the Connecticut River Valley, but the first time that ARTFARM and the College have collaborated to bring Shakespeare related activities into classes, events and exhibits from February through July. Highlights of this year’s collaboration include:

*Shakespeare in the Afternoon, a campus celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday April 15 featurng performances, costumed characters, music and food. Shakespeare in the Afternoon is a co-production of ARTFARM and MxCC’s English Department.

*Unlocking Shakespeare, a series of Master Classes in Text Analysis, offered by Trowbridge in three English Literature Classes during the Spring semester.

*Shakespeare in Our World, an exhibit created by the MxCC Library, will be up in the library throughout the month of April.

*Shakespeare in Acting One – The College’s Introductory Acting Class, taught by ARTFARM Executive Director Dic Wheeler, will have a special focus on “Shakespeare in Performance” this semester.

*Shakespeare Slam and Masked Ball, a popular performance event and party featuring interesting and unusual performances of short bits of Shakespeare, will be held at Kidcity Children’s Museum on Saturday, May 11 at 7 pm.

*Much Ado About Something is a three part class series, each focusing on a different aspect of Much Ado About Nothing. The classes will take place June 8, 15 and 22 as part of the MxCC Continuing Education program and are open to the public.

*Summer Acting Class will be offered for credit for the first time as part of the College’s summer session. Taught by Wheeler, with a special focus on Shakespeare, May 20 to June 14.

In addition, ARTFARM will offer “Community Tech Days”, in which the public may work with the production’s designers and technical director to help build props and set, and several “Open Rehearsals” during the course of the six week rehearsal period on campus for Much Ado.

ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove 2013 production of Much Ado About Nothing will be held July 18 – 28 in the Grove at Middlesex Community College. Performances are Thursday through Sunday at 7 pm, with live music preceding each performance starting at 6 pm.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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