‘Antony and Cleopatra’ reign at Hofstra
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“The Shakespeare Festival is a great way to be completely immersed in the text of Shakespeare as there is so much happening during the festival,” Crichton said. “It’s a very exciting time on campus and I’ve learned the importance of stamina, vocal support, and proper technique. It’s challenging material and it forces the actors to stretch their comfort zones, and I’ve been very lucky to be a part of it for the last three years.”
As always, the festival includes a companion play and the Shakespeare Festival Musicale, a concert of early music. This year’s concert is “Star-Crossed Lovers,” directed by Professor of Music William E. Hettrick, featuring guest artist Christopher Morrongiello, on lute. It’s performed by the Hofstra Collegium Musicum, the student ensemble devoted to performance of early music, using historical instruments from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The music, which includes both choral and orchestra works, refers to several ill-fated love affairs, including those of Tristan and Isolde, Orpheus and Eurydice, and the two lovers in the folk song “Scarborough Fair,” each of whom sets impossible tasks for the other to become “a true love of mine.”
The companion play, “This Bud of Love,” is a one-hour version of Romeo and Juliet adapted Adjunct Professor of English Maureen Connolly McFeeley and is directed by Professor of Drama Cindy Rosenthal. This re-imagining of the love story takes place in modern times, at a Central Park playground on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Capulets wear parochial school clothing, and the Montagues are dressed in street clothes.
This is the sixth year that Hofstra’s Shakespeare Festival has featured a one-hour adaptation of a Shakespearean play, designed to introduce young theatergoers to the works of the Bard. In addition to the performances on campus, the Hofstra student actors involved continue to bring the companion play to local high schools.