American Shakespeare Center
Mon, March 3, 2014 • Texas Union Theater
The American Shakespeare Center will return to Austin for its fifth annual visit to the University of Texas campus. Direct from the stage of the American Shakespeare Center's celebrated Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the ASC touring troupe brings Renaissance drama to life in exciting and accessible performances. On March 3 and 4, at 7:00 pm in the Texas Union Theater, the ASC's touring troupe will perform Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Part 1, two plays with very different perspectives on one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedic characters, the unsinkable Sir John Falstaff.
The American Shakespeare Center (formerly the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express) has gained a national reputation by performing according to the principles of the Renaissance stage. Careful attention to the language, a fast and fluid performance style, and a creative use of music and dance are hallmarks of ASC productions. Actors and audience share the same lighting, as they would have in Shakespeare’s playhouse, encouraging an intimate and festive atmosphere.
Monday, March 3, 7:00pm The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
Wives may be merry, and yet honest too. - IV.ii
Urban legend claims that Queen Elizabeth asked Shakespeare to write a play featuring the fat knight in love. In the effervescent The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff may not be truly in love, but he is certainly in lust. The objects of his desire, two clever Windsor wives, team up to outsmart and outmaneuver one of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most beloved bad boys. Shakespeare blends romance, farce, and festival in his liveliest and most affectionate portrait of domestic life in Elizabeth’s England. Audiences now, as then, cannot resist this comic confection.
Tuesday, March 4, 7:00pm Henry IV, Part 1 by William Shakespeare
I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness - I.ii
Next, a thrilling and poignant coming-of-age story, Henry IV, Part 1. Shakespeare gives audiences the whole world: the fabulous fat knight, the troubled king, the hot-blooded warrior, the prodigal prince, and the crew of big-hearted Eastcheap rabble rousers. Henry IV, Part 1 is Shakespeare’s masterful exploration of family and friends, honor and happiness, and those moments when we are forced to choose between the thing we desire and the thing we know we must do.
Performances will take place on the UT campus at the Texas Union Theater. Parking is available on the street and at UT’s San Antonio Garage.
Tickets are $15 and $10 for students, as well as UT faculty and staff.
They can be purchased online in advance through the Shakespeare at Winedale web site, www.shakespeare-winedale.org
The theatre will open for seating at 7:00 pm. At this time, live pre-show music will also begin. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm.
Seats for the performances are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so audience members are encouraged to arrive early, take their seats, and enjoy the music.
There will be a post-show discussion with members of the company immediately after The Merry Wives of Windsor.
This visit is made possible by the University of Texas at Austin’s English Department, Shakespeare at Winedale, the Mary Lu Joynes Endowment in the Plan II Honors Program,the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Center for European Studies, and the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professorship.