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10-09-1997

'The Play's The Thing' For Shenandoah Shakespeare Express: Virginia-based Troupe Will Perform As Part Of Clarkson University Convocation Series

POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Though he died more than three centuries ago, William Shakespeare's timeless plays continue to be staged worldwide, from high schools, to colleges, to community theater and Broadway. His works have been set in medieval Europe, the Wild West, and unnamed Latin American countries.

Some might think it interesting to do Shakespeare in such exotic settings with loads of props, special effects and lighting. But as Will himself said, "the play's the thing," to which the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (SSE) could not agree more.

The 12-person acting troupe will make a return appearance to Clarkson University on Monday, October 20, as part of their 1997 Sweet Smoke of Rhetoric Tour. They will perform two free shows at the Robert A. Plane Atrium: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 4:30 p.m., and "Henry IV, Part I" at 8:30 p.m. "Midsummer" is directed by Betsy Tucker of the University of Virginia's Drama Department. "Henry IV" is directed by Jim Warren, SSE Managing Director. The Atrium is located in the Center for Advanced Material Processing Building.

Based in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, SSE presents Shakespeare's works the way they were done in his time: On a bare stage, surrounded by an audience from three sides that share the same light as the actors, each of whom play several parts. The group's goal is to strip away 400 years of theatrical excess and restore the original dynamics built into his plays. Result: 100 percent pure Bard. No additives, no preservatives.

Since its founding in 1988, the SSE has played in 40 states and five countries, including performances at the Stadt Neuss Shakespeare Festival in Neuss, Germany, two appearances at the Edinburgh (Scotland) International Fringe Festival, the Piccolo Spoleto festival in Charleston, S.C., three extended runs at the Shakespeare Library's Elizabethan Theater in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of productions at high schools, colleges and universities all over the U.S. as well as Canada.

For more information, contact Randy Lamson, director of Campus Center activities, at (315) 268-6680.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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