The play's the thing
For those who can't travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon, England to experience firsthand William Shakespeare's legacy, Dennis Brestensky, professor emeritus of English, will bring Shakespeare to Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus for the 41st annual Shakespeare Festival, running Monday through Saturday.
This year's festival will feature a production of “Her Hamlet,” an original composition by Lisa Jackson Shebetta, theater arts professor at the University of Pittsburgh. This play tells the story of Hamlet from the perspective of Judith, Shakespeare's real-life daughter. Jackson-Shebetta says that this play focuses on the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia and also focuses on relationships between fathers and daughters.
The National Players, one of the longest running performing troups in America, will perform “Romeo and Juliet.” Justin Weeks, artistic director of the National Players, says that the story is timeless.
“This story is about youth,” he said. “It's about young love, about violence. People see how dangerous young love can be.”
Weeks said the play will have a modern tone.
“We're reaching out to teens. This play will have text messaging. Also, rather than using daggers, we'll use more modern weapons. We'll be in modern costume, as well.”
Weeks welcomes the opportunity to introduce “Romeo and Juliet” to people who may never have heard this story.
“We're pleased at the way people are responding to the story.” he said.
The play, set in Verona, Italy, focuses on the feud between two leading families, the Capulets and the Monteques. Juliet, a Capulet, and Romeo, a Monteque, fall in love. Knowing that their families would never agree to their marriage, the couple elopes and are wed by Friar Lawrence. He offers her a drug that will put her into a deathlike coma for “two and forty hours.” The Friar promises to send a messenger to inform Romeo of the plan, so that he can rejoin her when she awakens. On the night before the wedding, she takes the drug and, when discovered apparently dead, she is laid in the family crypt.
The messenger, however, does not reach Romeo and, instead, Romeo learns of Juliet's apparent death from his servant Balthasar. Heartbroken, Romeo buys poison from an apothecary and goes to the Capulet crypt. He encounters Paris, who has come to mourn Juliet privately. Believing Romeo to be a vandal, Paris confronts him and, in the ensuing battle, Romeo kills Paris. Still believing Juliet to be dead, he drinks the poison. Juliet then awakens and, finding Romeo dead, stabs herself with his dagger.
This festival was founded in 1972 by Brestensky.
Brestensky will share photos from his trips to Stratford-Upon-Avon. He said that the trips were a memorable experience.
The festival will feature an exhibit from Jeff Martin, a retired teacher from the Albert Gallatin School District.
Barbara Starn is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Amish items available at Wavie and Janes in Connellsville
- Charleroi man’s body found hours after disappearance on Youghiogheny River
- Connellsville students bringing Civil War to life
- Connellsville Area’s $4.8M budget gap raises specter of layoffs
- Connellsville Area School District rethinks grading
- DA’s office recused from Fayette man’s $110K cocaine case
- Gulf War veteran restores Uniontown mansion
- Connellsville gifted students stage ‘Living Wax Museum’
- Emergency crews search Youghiogheny River in Layton for Charleroi man
- Connellsville Area Senior High School students work on mural in East Park
- Army unit reunites to honor fallen comrade in Uniontown