Shakespeare visits island for two shows this weekend
This is the third year the arts center will host the student acted and directed performances, a partnership that has enabled the work of Shakespeare to be presented in a fresh, contemporary atmosphere accessible to a wide range of audiences.
The programs have been internationally recognized for producing innovative student-led performances, as well as assemblage of remarkably adept faculty. The program is highly competitive, accepting only the brightest up-andcoming actors and directors. The marriage of Ivy League distinction with Rhode Island’s awardwinning theater company provides powerful artistic assets for 18 students who are selected to complete the rigorous three-year program. Students build relationships with outside professionals and resident artists, constructing a foundation of real-world experience and elevating each student’s theatrical mastery.
The partnership between Brown and Trinity Rep has broken barriers between acting, directing and playwriting, and as a result produces exceptionally well-rounded students and some of the most groundbreaking productions. This year the group will perform two of Shakespeare’s best comedic works, “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Twelfth Night or What You Will.”
“Much Ado About Nothing” will take the stage Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. The story follows a soldier’s treacherous and hilarious quest for true love. In this tale of human transformation, young lovers learn that in war and in romance, one twist of fate can determine your future. The performance is directed by Flordelino Lagundino, a multifaceted actor, director and theater instructor. He is the artistic director for both the Leviathan Lab in New York City and the Generator Theatre Company in Juneau, Alaska. His directing credits include “Sweeney Todd” for the Juneau Symphony and “Far Away” for the Yale Cabaret. Lagundino currently holds a master’s degree in acting from the University of Texas at Austin.
On Sunday afternoon at 3, “Twelfth Night” proves that love really is more than meets the eye in a saga of gender bending disguises, obscured identities, and a baffling web of entangled love interests. Director Dan Brown runs a Brooklyn-based theatre collective, and he has directed “Bus Stop” for Brown/Trinity Rep and “sixsixsix” for the Magic Futurebox in Brooklyn. He also served as general manager of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company in New York.
This year, the arts center and Brown/Trinity Rep have decided to further their partnership by adding a new educational component. Before the actors take the stage, a free 90-minute workshop on Saturday at 1 p.m. will explore the texts of the upcoming productions. The class will delve into iambic pentameter and examine other tools for reading, speaking and understanding Shakespeare, arguably the most brilliant writer that ever lived.
Brown/Trinity Rep strives to create shows that are engaging for all audiences. This weekend’s productions promise to deliver the same standard of utterly compelling Shakespearean entertainment.
“The program specializes in contemporary production, while still staying true to Shakespeare’s language and intentions,” says Lisa Randall, executive director of the arts center. “Our raw space lends itself to their minimalistic productions.”
Thoughtful use of props create a modern interpretation that is nothing like the dull required reading in your high school English class.
As Randall says, “It’s a great show for anyone who thinks Shakespeare is boring. These shows are truly dynamic.”
The cost of each production is $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the door.