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Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 1, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER ARTS CRITIC
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The big Shakespeare pilgrimage of the summer would seem to be to the Druid Theatre Company's marathon performances of Shakespeare's "second tetralogy," a saga of English monarchs and wars from Richard II to Henry V imported from Ireland to the Lincoln Center Festival. Yet there's an equal impetus to travel the opposite direction, from Philadelphia to DeSales University in Center Valley, where the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival offers Henry V through Sunday: How often is the same play such a thoroughly different experience?
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
How do we explain the meteoric rise of Donald Trump on the political stage? The GOP political hopeful has been able to translate his remarkable pop-culture appeal into electoral power. Forget the polls and the pundits. Perhaps the best way to understand is to watch Shakespeare's tale of another man who entered politics after first becoming an immensely popular cult figure: Julius Caesar. It just so happens that one of the best Shakespeare companies in the country, will premiere a new production of Julius Caesar on Wednesday on the campus of DeSales University in Lehigh County.
NEWS
July 27, 2012
A story Thursday on the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's production of King John gave the wrong opening date. The play opened Thursday. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357) at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101, or e-mail dsullivan@phillynews.com .
ENTERTAINMENT
June 17, 2011 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
Somehow Shakespeare became synonymous with summer, probably because of the growth nationally of Shakespeare festivals in off-season months. Looking to get your fix of the Bard? It's not hard to find "a stage where every man must play a part. " The Comedy of Errors. Two sets of identical twins are separated at birth - wow, that guy took risks with plot credibility. This is one of his earliest plays, going on Wednesday through July 17 at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University, near Allentown.
NEWS
August 2, 2016 | By Hugh Hunter, For The Inquirer
Actors in Elizabethan theater companies always kept multiple roles in their heads, because these troupes performed multiple plays within a short period of time. Actors learned their lines in advance, rehearsed for a few days, and let it fly. The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival recreates that hurried excitement in their current production of Love's Labour's Lost . Rehearsing for just a few days without the aid of a director, the actors stage an electrifying show that is a cross between Shakespeare and the improvisational comedy of Chicago's Second City.
NEWS
July 28, 2013 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Let's be honest: Henry VIII isn't one of Shakespeare's greatest works, which might be why Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival chose to make it their third "extreme Shakespeare" effort. Many scholars believe the play isn't even entirely his, but rather the result of a collaboration between him and his eventual King's Men theater company successor, John Fletcher. But, as it's essentially an exploration of the events leading up to the birth of Shakespeare's most important benefactor, Queen Elizabeth I - back when royal births changed the course of history - it's certainly worth its historical weight (even if, despite its alternative title, All Is True , much is anachronistic)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 2011
Theater Art Tony-winning comedy about a painting that ignites fierce debate between three friends. Judd Hirsch stars. Closes 7/31. Surflight Theatre, Beach & Engleside Ave., Harvey Cedars, NJ; 609-492-9477. $31-$49. Broadway on Main A cast of Upper Darby High School alumni perform hits from Broadway shows. Closes 8/6. Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. $10-$20. Cape May Stage: Steel Magnolias Six women share gossip & cope with life's ups & downs at a small-town hair salon.
NEWS
July 20, 2004 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
Each time a servant bearing a platter laden with food opens the door to the banquet hall in Macbeth, the jovial noise of good fellowship is heard and a shaft of light lances through the gloom outside to catch two figures. Macbeth tries to man himself to the unthinkable deed of killing Duncan, his king. His hand will hold the dagger, but the steel will to use it and make the crucial leap from desire to deed comes from his wife. It's an illuminating moment in the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's production of Macbeth in which the dynamics of the playing and the staging are in accord.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 2, 2016 | By Hugh Hunter, For The Inquirer
Actors in Elizabethan theater companies always kept multiple roles in their heads, because these troupes performed multiple plays within a short period of time. Actors learned their lines in advance, rehearsed for a few days, and let it fly. The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival recreates that hurried excitement in their current production of Love's Labour's Lost . Rehearsing for just a few days without the aid of a director, the actors stage an electrifying show that is a cross between Shakespeare and the improvisational comedy of Chicago's Second City.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
How do we explain the meteoric rise of Donald Trump on the political stage? The GOP political hopeful has been able to translate his remarkable pop-culture appeal into electoral power. Forget the polls and the pundits. Perhaps the best way to understand is to watch Shakespeare's tale of another man who entered politics after first becoming an immensely popular cult figure: Julius Caesar. It just so happens that one of the best Shakespeare companies in the country, will premiere a new production of Julius Caesar on Wednesday on the campus of DeSales University in Lehigh County.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 1, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER ARTS CRITIC
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The big Shakespeare pilgrimage of the summer would seem to be to the Druid Theatre Company's marathon performances of Shakespeare's "second tetralogy," a saga of English monarchs and wars from Richard II to Henry V imported from Ireland to the Lincoln Center Festival. Yet there's an equal impetus to travel the opposite direction, from Philadelphia to DeSales University in Center Valley, where the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival offers Henry V through Sunday: How often is the same play such a thoroughly different experience?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The irresistibly gothic side of Shakespeare's Macbeth arrived in stark, stylish form in Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's newly minted production, occupying a Germanic industrial chic netherworld with fuzz-box guitar for sonic atmosphere, and excellent actors who made sure the external packaging never existed for its own sake. Director Patrick Mulcahy and designer Bob Phillips walked a line between expressionism and abstraction with a clean, open stage and series of panels suggesting chain-link fence as designed by Versace that could double as forests, as well as a curtain separating the temporal from the supernatural.
NEWS
July 28, 2013 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
Let's be honest: Henry VIII isn't one of Shakespeare's greatest works, which might be why Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival chose to make it their third "extreme Shakespeare" effort. Many scholars believe the play isn't even entirely his, but rather the result of a collaboration between him and his eventual King's Men theater company successor, John Fletcher. But, as it's essentially an exploration of the events leading up to the birth of Shakespeare's most important benefactor, Queen Elizabeth I - back when royal births changed the course of history - it's certainly worth its historical weight (even if, despite its alternative title, All Is True , much is anachronistic)
NEWS
July 27, 2012
A story Thursday on the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's production of King John gave the wrong opening date. The play opened Thursday. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357) at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101, or e-mail dsullivan@phillynews.com .
NEWS
July 27, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
'Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Shakespeare writes in A Midsummer Night's Dream , and given how he operated in the theater of his day, he could have been referring to the way plays are done today. A costume designer!? Whoever heard of such a thing? Someone to plan . . . what is that word . . . lighting ? Preposterous! And what is this director? Another foolish piece of nonsense, methinks. The theater now has plenty of, as producers say, "creative-team members," but even the idea of a director would have been foreign before the 19th century.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer
Here's something that might happen with a play, but not with a movie: You go to see it again and because of a different interpretation, or the way an ensemble clicks, or maybe a fresh staging that literally moves the play in a new direction, it's as if you've never seen it before. The production you're watching has given it a new and different life. That's what's happening at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, where Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , an American classic, is playing out as if our besotted, bewitched, and brilliant playwright of the last century had written it last night.
NEWS
July 17, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare's comedy built on trickery at every turn, is much ado about making good theater at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, where it opened Friday night in a greatly entertaining production.   James J. Christy's version sweeps fluidly through the plot, one of Shakespeare's simplest, which he spun by getting extra mileage out of a successful play he'd already created — The Taming of the Shrew. Acrimonious lovers do well on stage, he'd found, and he set up Much Ado's Beatrice and Benedick as bickering opposites who have known each other for a long time and eventually come to see that they're not so opposite after all — but only after they're tricked into it, each being falsely told of the other's secret passion.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 5, 2011
Theater Broadway on Main A cast of Upper Darby High School alumni perform hits from Broadway shows. Closes 8/6. Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler. $20; $15 students and seniors. Cape May Stage: Steel Magnolias Six women share gossip & cope with life's ups & downs at a small-town hair salon. Closes 9/10. Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Bank & Lafayette Sts., Cape May; Box Office: 609-884-1341. $35-$50; $30-$50 seniors; $12.50-$50 students. iChoose2live: Popular Drama about what some people are willing to pay to achieve popularity.
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