Shakespeare at Winedale

American Shakespeare Center performs on UT Campus

Wed, January 18, 2017
American Shakespeare Center performs on UT Campus
Zoe Speas as Juliet in ROMEO AND JULIET. Photo by Michael Bailey.

The American Shakespeare Center will return to Austin for its eighth 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 February 25 at 7:00 pm in the Hogg Memorial Auditorium, the ASC's touring troupe will perform Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

 Saturday, February 25, 7:00pm – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; – I.i

With its ravishing language and uproarious comedy, Romeo and Juliet celebrates love's triumph and its trivialities.  Verona's walls embrace the volatility of youth as well as the wisdom and restraint that often escape young and old alike.  Thumb-biting, dance, and swordplay share the stage with sonnets, bawdy wit, and soul-searching speeches in this profoundly human and always surprising treasure.

The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style to the UT Campus at Hogg Memorial Auditorium, blending Shakespeare’s stagecraft with modern sensibility.  The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting, and music.  In Shakespeare’s day, the company couldn’t turn the lights out on the audience; actors and audience shared the same light.  The Hungry Hearts Tour leaves the lights on for a type of audience contact rarely seen in modern day theatre.  Audience members share directly in the action onstage as they become citizens of Verona in Romeo and Juliet.

Returning after directing last year's Julius Caesar, ASC Guest Director and Fight Director Benjamin Curns finds in Shakespeare's romantic tragedy a surprising message of hope.  “The actions of our titular heroes, and their pursuit of love over hate, change the way their families think and act.  By the end of the play, the love between Romeo and Juliet has created a new community.”  Love can conquer all, but as this play reminds us, conquest can be a bloody business.

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions.  Based out of Staunton, VA, the company mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education.  The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy."  Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online here.

The performance will take place on the UT campus at the Hogg Memorial Auditorium.

Parking is available on the street and at UT’s San Antonio Garage.

Tickets are $20 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.

The theater 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.

This visit is made possible by Shakespeare at Winedale, the English Department, the Iris Howards Regents Professorship, Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Mary Lu Joynes Endowment in the Plan II Honors Program.

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