The University of Maine at Presque Isle is proud to present Shakespeare & Company for a one-night-only performance of the Bard’s beloved comedy Twelfth Night on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium at Wieden Hall. Troupe members will provide a short talk-back for the audience after the show. All campus and community members are invited to attend this special, free admission event. Donations for future cultural arts programming will be accepted at the door.
Founded in 1978, Shakespeare & Company is one of the country’s largest and best known Shakespeare Festivals, operating year-round and welcoming more than 60,000 patrons annually to its performance space in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Company is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program; as the largest one in the Northeast, it reaches more than 45,000 students annually with innovative performances, workshops, and residencies.
“The University is so pleased to be bringing a troupe of Shakespeare & Company’s caliber to northern Maine for a very special performance of one of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedies,” Dr. Ray Rice, UMPI Provost, said. Rice chairs the University’s cultural affairs efforts. “The region is certainly in for a treat and we look forward to welcoming everyone for what is sure to be a wonderful performance.”
Twelfth Night is a comedy full of tricks, traps and disguises. Shipwrecked in a foreign land and assuming her twin brother Sebastian is dead, our main character Viola disguises herself as a man (Cesario) in order to survive, and swiftly finds herself in a love triangle: pining for the Duke she serves, who desires the neighboring Countess Olivia, who only has eyes for Cesario.
This performance is part of Shakespeare & Company’s Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare, underway between February and May of 2016. The tour is part of Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
The Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare is one of the many education programs offered as part of the Company’s theater-in-education program, which has been identified by the MacArthur Foundation, the GE Foundation and The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a “Champion of Change,” the result of a two-year study by Project Zero, the Harvard’s Graduate School of Education research group.
Since 1988, Shakespeare & Company has conducted National Institutes on Teaching Shakespeare. These are four-week institutes for high school teachers from across the country, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2005, the Company received the Commonwealth Award, the highest award Massachusetts bestows to honor the work of individuals or organizations impacting the artistic and cultural life of the state.