Wyoming Arts Council

Schedule announced for “Shakespeare Project” tour

shakespeare project

Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS) in the “Macbeth” troupe are, top row from left, Joanna Bending, Michael Palmer and Charles Armstrong; and bottom from left, Ben Warwick and Annie Aldington. (AFTLS Photo)

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance, in partnership with Wyoming PBS and Wyoming Public Media, will bring four of the Bard’s beloved plays to various Wyoming communities in March with the tours of “The Shakespeare Project” and “Macbeth.”

The UW productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Merchant of Venice” each will tour independently, while the celebrated Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS) will present “Macbeth” in four locations.

The direction and production of the shows in the tour, and the additional AFTLS “Macbeth” tour, are supported by the 2014-15 Eminent Artist-in-Residence Endowment, which is funded by the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment through the Wyoming State Legislature. The UW Department of Theatre and Dance hosts the eminent artist residency this year.

A grant awarded to Wyoming PBS through “Shakespeare Uncovered,” a new series on PBS, has provided support for the local tours and community outreach for all three plays included in “The Shakespeare Project.”

AFTLS is one of the oldest established touring companies in the world, with members hailing from such prestigious companies as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

For “The Shakespeare Project,” three members of the AFTLS — Roger May, Paul O’Mahony and Anna Wright — have been in residence at UW to set Shakespeare’s works on student performers in the AFTLS style, and to teach and work with students.

The eminent artist residency program culminates this spring semester with the AFTLS tour of “Macbeth” in Laramie and in Wyoming communities. The “Macbeth” troupe also will stay at UW for a week to teach classes and lead workshops campuswide.

“To have the Actors from the London Stage in residence this spring has benefited our students in innumerable ways. We are happy to share the wealth and launch these three plays out into the state, and also to offer the fantastic opportunity for audiences statewide to experience a professional AFTLS troupe for themselves with the tour of ‘Macbeth,’” says Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator. “And, the best part is, all of these performances are free.”

Productions are listed by date, community and times.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tour:

— March 11: Sheridan, Mars Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

— March 12: Thermopolis, Hot Springs County High School auditorium, 7 p.m.

— A third performance is pending.

“Much Ado About Nothing” tour:

— March 12: Green River High School theatre, 7 p.m.

— March 13: Lyman High School Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.

— A third performance is pending.

“Merchant of Venice” tour:

— March 13, Laramie County Community College, 7:30 p.m.

Several performances also are scheduled for school groups in various high schools and will be announced later.

Actors from the London Stage/“Macbeth” tour:

— March 7, UW Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

— March 10, Riverton, Central Wyoming College, 7:30 p.m.

— March 11, Lander Valley High School, 7:30 p.m.

— March 12, Jackson, Center for the Arts, 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Kirkaldie at (307) 766-2160 or email kirsik@uwyo.edu.

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