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Contact: Dr. Steve Shelburne, 318-869-5255; or Lynn Stewart or Kelsey Bellamy Johnson, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Shenandoah Shakespeare Express Performs at Centenary College Sept. 20-26 on its 2004-05 “Ripe with Mischief” Tour

2004 Shenandoah Shakespeare Express Troupe

SHREVEPORT, LA- Touring theatre troupe, the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (SSE), will visit Centenary College Sept. 20-26, presenting three plays: Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith.

Measure for Measure will be presented Sept. 21 and 23, both at 7 p.m., and Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. Dates for She Stoops to Conquer are Sept. 22 and 25, both at 7 p.m., while Twelfth Night is set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 24. All will be presented in the Kilpatrick Auditorium of the Smith Building at the corner of Kings Highway and Woodlawn Avenue.

Centenary College will host this event, thanks to support from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council Re-grant Program, Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday, Sept. 9. Purchases can be made by calling Centenary’s ticket line: (318) 841-7289. Prices are as follows: adults, $12; students, $7.50; and seniors, $10.

The internationally acclaimed SSE is an energetic cast assembled from all over the United States. The ensemble performs under conditions closely approximating those for which Shakespeare wrote: SSE actors and directors commit to “two hours’ traffic of our stage;” to a small cast of actors who double roles; to thrust staging; and to universal lighting, which ensures that audience and actors can see and, more importantly, engage each other.

In short, SSE aims to give audiences some of the pleasures that an Elizabethan playgoer would have enjoyed. The result is dynamic, energetic theatre that is both “uncommonly understandable” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “shamelessly entertaining” (The Washington Post).

Shenandoah Shakespeare’s Associate Artistic Director Fred Nelson, directs Measure for Measure. Considered one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays,” this exploration of the arrogance of power hovers between comedy and tragedy. Isabella, a nun in training and the play’s heroine, must decide whether or not to ransom her brother from a death sentence by giving her body to Angelo, the hypocritical deputy Duke who sternly enforces the chastity laws that put Isabella’s brother in jail. All the while, the real Duke, who has supposedly traveled to Poland, watches events unfold, lurking through the land disguised as a friar.

SSE Alum Davis McCallum, a Princeton graduate and Rhodes Scholar whose directing credits include stints in New York and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, directs Twelfth Night. In one of his most popular plays, Twelfth Night, Shakespeare creates comedy at every elevation, from low slapstick to high irony. Writing at the height of his powers, Shakespeare presents in one play a feast of language and a stage full of memorable characters – from the lovesick Orsino and Viola to the alesick Toby Belch, from the fop Sir Andrew Aguecheek to the jerk Malvolio. Sublime and subversive, Twelfth Night breaks rules and bends gender to show love in all its guises and disguises.

She Stoops to Conquer is directed by Jim Warren, Shenandoah Shakespeare’s co-founder and artistic director. She Stoops is considered one of the comic jewels of the English theatre, lampooning the quirks and customs of 18th-century England, from matchmaking and marriage to character and class. Aptly subtitled The Mistakes of a Night, this lighthearted farce turns several imminent romances upside down through an absurd series of deceptions, disguises and mistaken identities. It is a wildly funny romp through the English countryside.

For more information about SSE, see http://www.shenandoahshakespeare.com/.

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