Judson to host American Shakespeare Center: Wicked Folly Tour | Judson College
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Judson to host American Shakespeare Center: Wicked Folly Tour

The American Shakespeare Center’s 2017-18 Wicked Folly Tour will come to Marion, Alabama, in February with performances of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (February 12) and a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (February 13) at Judson College’s Alumnae Auditorium. Performances will begin at 7:00pm each evening; doors will open at 6:30. Admission is a suggested $10 donation at the door. (Admission is free for Judson students).

The American Shakespeare Center, based in Staunton, Virginia, focuses on recovering the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity through exploration of the English Renaissance stage with performance and education. Dr. Laura Schrock, Assistant Professor of English, said “The ASC troupe are consummate professionals whose ability to bring high Renaissance drama to life for modern audiences will stun and delight.” The Wicked Folly tour’s visit to Marion is sponsored by Judson College’s Concert/Lecture Committee, of which Schrock is chair.

The ASC brings a unique performance style to the Judson stage, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions: universal lighting, minimal sets, character doubling, cross-gender casting, and live music. Shakespeare’s performance company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience; actors and audience shared the same light. The Wicked Folly Tour shares light with the audience throughout the performance for a unique brand of audience contact rarely seen in theatre today. The performances are “once-in-a-lifetime for Judson and Perry County”, according to Schrock, and were made possible by “an extraordinarily generous donation by anonymous friends of the college.”

Ally Farzetta as Lady Macbeth and Calder Shilling as Macbeth in MACBETH. Photo by Michael Bailey.

Macbeth: February 12 at 7:00pm in Alumnae Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30.
Macbeth is William Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and perhaps his most unrelenting examination of the dark side of humanity. Driven to bloody deeds by their lust for power and supernatural predictions, Macbeth and his Lady fight to hold on to their ill-gotten throne, their sanity, and each other by any means necessary. “The loss and degradation I find so appalling in this play is not the fall of Macbeth, but the corruption of what is sometimes referred to as the strongest marriage in all of Shakespeare,” says director Ben Curns. “While Macbeth features witchcraft, swordfights, storms, hallucinations, and even the walking dead, I still maintain that this is a love story. Perhaps if they made better choices they could be Beatrice and Benedick, but instead they will, in the words of Helen Gardener, ‘enter a world of appalling loneliness, of meaningless activity, unloved and unable to love.’ I can’t imagine anything more tragic.”

Constance Swain as Marianne and Ally Farzetta as Elinor in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Photo by Michael Bailey.

Sense & Sensibility: February 13 at 7:00pm in Alumnae Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30.
ASC’s performance of Sense & Sensibility is a new stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. Playwright Emma Whipday used Shakespeare’s Staging Conditions to create a new setting for the story of Austen’s Dashwood women, who learn to embrace a new life after the death of their father. Sisters Marianne (a hopeless romantic) and Elinor (a stoic realist) experience the pitfalls of society, the generosity of new friends, and the passion of unexpected love in this world-premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s exquisite early work. By battling vicious gossip, relative poverty, and silly characters–not to mention countless set-ups by the “helpful” Mrs. Jennings–, the Dashwoods learn the importance of both sense and sensibility.

The 2017-18 Wicked Folly Tour is the ASC’s 29th annual tour. Founded as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express in 1988, the ASC grew to international prominence and is now the home of the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre in Staunton, VA. ASC on Tour has performed in 46 US states, one US territory, and five other countries. The Wicked Folly Tour features Hilary Caldwell, Josh Clark, Topher Embrey, Ally Farzetta, J.C. Long, Mitchell McCollum, Kyle Powell, Annabelle Rollison, Ronald Román-Meléndez, Calder Shilling, and Constance Swain.

For more information about the performances, contact Dr. Laura Schrock, Concert/Lecture Committee Chair, at 334-683-5160 or lschrock@judson.edu. More information about the American Shakespeare Center can be found at www.americanshakespearecenter.com.