Shakespeare Fest
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 7, 2003 | PRINT

The works of the immortal Bard, William Shakespeare, will be celebrated at Clemson for the 12th year, from March 6 through March 12. This yearÕs Clemson Shakespeare Festival will focus on the 16th century writerÕs comments on the world of politics within his work by examining ÒGreed, Power, Corruption: The Political Shakespeare.Ó

Shakespeare has been celebrated through the centuries not just for the power he found in language, but for his keen insight into human nature and the human heart. It should come as no surprise then that he explored politics and employed political intrigue in many of his plays. As a student of human nature and as a man living in a time of political turbulence and deep class divisions, it is only natural that he should have explored political issues within the context of his work. The Twelfth Annual Clemson Shakespeare Festival will focus on some of his comments on politics through a wide range of activities over the course of the week-long festival. Dr. Juana Green, a Shakespeare scholar and Clemson professor, hopes that the festival will "encourage audiences to consider how past ideas about wealth, social order, religion, marriage, and gender in Shakespeare's time continue to influence cultural values today."

Among the activities planned for the week include stage performances by the festival's resident company, Shenandoah Shakespeare, as well as Greenville's Warehouse Theatre. In addition to these performances, there will be film screenings, discussions with leading Shakespearean scholars, and workshops led by actors and directors.

Shenandoah Shakespeare will be performing "The Tempest" on Sunday, March 9th, "The Taming of the Shrew" on Monday, March 10, and "Coriolanus" on Tuesday, March 11. Greenville's own Warehouse Theatre will be performing "Measure for Measure on Wednesday, March 12. All four plays will begin at 8 p.m in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets will be $15.00 for adults, $13.50 for senior citizens, and $8.00 for students.

These particular plays each explore Shakespeare's take on politics in different ways and on several levels. "The Taming of the Shrew" explores the politics of gender and of domestic life, and "Coriolanus" focuses on the transition of a man from warrior to senator.

Film screenings at this year's festival include some of the more irreverent cinematic treatments of Shakespeare's work. "Scotland, Pa.," a 2001 adaptation of "Macbeth" set in a restaurant in the 1970s and starring James LeGros, Maura Tierney and Christopher Walken, will be screened on Thursday, March 6. "Tromeo and Juliet", a 1996 punk-inspired,

modern adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" will be shown on Friday, March 7, and "Prospero's Books", a lavish and unique 1991 retelling of "The Tempest", will be screened on Saturday, March 8. All films will run in the McKissick Theatre in the Hendrix Center at 8:00 p.m., and all three are free of charge.

During the Albert Hamilton Holt Colloquium, leading Shakespeare scholars will explore Shakespeare as a player of politics. On Monday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m.

Professor Jonathan Gil Harris of Ithaca College will present his lecture, "Shakespeare Acts Up: The Politics of the Ham." Harris' lecture will comment on how Shakespeare and his company, The King's Men, used acting styles to redefine the class politics of the acting profession of the 16th century. Also on Monday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m, Professor Natasha Korda of Wesleyan University will present "Labors Lost: Women's Work and the Early Modern English Stage." In her lecture, Korda will discuss the roles that women played in theatre in Shakespeare's time, as well as the influence they had in the economics and production of early modern theatre. On Tuesday, March 11, at 2:00 p.m., professors Harris and Korda, who will be joined by professors Juana Green and Clifton Egan of Clemson, will conduct a panel discussion entitled "Greed, Power, Corruption: The Political Shakespeare." All three events will be held in the Bellamy Theatre in the Brooks Center.

Shenandoah Shakespeare actors and directors will conduct workshops on Monday, March 10, in the Brooks Center. At 10:10 a.m., they will hold a workshop entitled "Directing Scenes." At 11:15 a.m., they will conduct "'I'll drown my book: Prospero's Magical Mystery Tour in 'The Tempest.'" At 1:25 p.m., they will finish with "Shakespeare On Your Feet." The workshops will cover such topics as directing and performing Shakespeare, portraying magic in "The Tempest" and stage combat.

With so many varied events, the Clemson Shakespeare Festival is an opportunity that no one with an interest in Shakespeare should miss.

All events, except for professional performances, are free of charge. Contact the Brooks Center at 864-656-RSVP (7787), 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for ticket information. A complete schedule of events and other information can be found at

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