Department of Performing Arts

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  Party, Party in New York City

The Eastern Connecticut State University Performing Arts Department and CSU System Office invite you to Bits of the Bard 2004 - Party, Party! which will run Friday, May 28th and Saturday, May 29th at 8 pm at The Sargent Theatre in NYC (314 West 54th Street, 4th floor, NY, NY). Director Ellen Faith Brodie has created a text based on excerpts from 12 Shakespearean plays which will be interwoven with Renaissance solo songs and dance. David Belles, Director of Vocal Music at ECSU, is preparing the singers and Patty Smith, Choreographer, is working with the actors on authentic Renaissance dances. Eric Ouellette, pianist, will perform live providing a Renaissance sound-track of sorts in which the live instrumentals, solo singing, and court dance are interspersed between Shakespearean sonnets and scenes.

Costumer Stephanie Hawks has designed costumes that are a feast for the eyes. This production is a modified version of The Renaissance Re-Creation 2003 which ran at ECSU as a re-creation of a Great Hall atmosphere in which audiences were invited to a party - to be entertained by the royal court promenade style in the midst of multiple stages. The show has been totally restaged from what was an arena approach to what is now a proscenium production in an Off-Broadway theater.

The "play" is set as if we are witnessing a party at the Capulet's home. The guest list at this party is very different than the one originally in Romeo and Juliet as characters from numerous Shakespearean plays have been invited! Join us as we overhear Romeo and Juliet's first encounter; Kate and Petruchio's first meeting; proclamations of love; intrigues and contrivances; from numerous Shakespearean texts - all taken totally out of context, of course, to create an original scenario just for this party.

"We're tying these pieces together as if they were meant to be linked all along. Each actor remains the same character throughout - flirting and flitting about at the royal bash hosted by the Capulets in honor of the King's upcoming nuptials. It's a send-off to the party episodes of "Laugh-In" - Shakespearean style. Shakespeare lifted entire pieces of Plautus' Roman comedies and placed them totally out of context within his original works. He'd enjoy our "take" on his works. Be prepared as the actors are playing their parts in a far more comedic vein than when first presented in the Harry Hope in the fall. Their vocal attacks and gestures are bigger and bolder as they literally prance and dance before us. It's always a wonderful opportunity to more fully explore our original choices when we re-rehearse a show for our annual NYC tour."

Reservations for the CSU Off-Broadway Showcase of Student Talent which includes ECSU's Bits of the Bard 2004 can be made now. Please call the Harry Hope Theatre Box Office number at 860-465-5123. Tickets are free for CSU Students, Staff and Faculty; $6 for Alumni; and $12 for the General Public.

83 Windham Street, Willimantic, Connecticut 06226 USA
Phone: (860) 465-5325 | Fax: (860) 465-5764
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