American Shakespeare Center on Tour: Rough, Rude & Boisterous Tour

The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Sun, March 7, 2010 | Texas Union Theater

7:30 PM - 9:45 PM

The Knight of the Burning Pestle

The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Tickets and general information:  Shakespeare at Winedale

Students/UT ID Holders = $5.00         General admission = $10.00

The American Shakespeare Center’s touring troupe will give two performances in Austin, on March 6 and 7 at 7:30 pm in the Texas Union Theatre.  Performing Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet" and Beaumont’s "The Knight of the Burning Pestle," the ASC will give Austinites a taste of their energetic performance style, in a visit sponsored by the Department of English, Plan II, the College of Undergraduate Studies and Shakespeare at Winedale.  All proceeds will go to the UT sponsoring organizations.

Audience members are encouraged to come early, as there will be pre-show music and entertainment beginning at 7:00 pm both nights.

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.

The Sunday performance will be a unique comedy, "The Knight of the Burning Pestle," by Shakespeare’s contemporary Francis Beaumont.  Loaded with laughter and contemporary songs, "The Knight of the Burning Pestle" is a celebration of the way Elizabethan audiences expected to be a part of the action.  A theatre company begins to perform "The London Merchant," but an audience member stops the play and demands that the actors add a character to represent working-class citizens: "I will have a grocer, and he shall do admirable things." He and his wife bring their apprentice Rafe onstage to take on the new role.  Swept up in the thought of heroic quests, Rafe transforms his grocer character into a fantastic knight-errant. Thus, the "Knight of the Burning Pestle," enthusiastically improvised by Rafe, is thrust into the plot of "The London Merchant," with hilarious results.

The ASC touring troupe last appeared in Austin early in this decade, under its previous name of the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express. The company now has a permanent home at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Virginia.  The "Rough, Rude and Boisterous" tour will conclude in April, when the troupe will return to Staunton to present the spring season at the Blackfriars Playhouse through the middle of June.

For more information about these performances, visit the
Shakespeare at Winedale or contact Program Coordinator Liz Fisher or 512.471.4726.


Sponsored by: Plan II Honors Program, the Department of English, Undergraduate Studies and Shakespeare at Winedale

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