Events Top Stories — 12 February 2014

William Shakespeare’s many wonderful works of literature will be celebrated in Murray, Ky., once again this spring. Events will happen city wide for this year’s festival.

The departments of English and philosophy and theatre in Murray State University’s college of humanities and fine arts are, once again, hosting the Murray Shakespeare Festival. The festival will take place March 10-14, with a variety of activities and plays.

Two grants to benefit the festival were received this year — one from South Arts, which provides money for professional artistic performances by companies traveling to theatrically underserved regions. The second grant is from the MSU office of regional outreach, and will be used to fund performances contingent on producing data that demonstrates the positive effects on students’ score after seeing a live production of a play they have studied. These grants, along with additional funding provided by Pella Windows, MSU alumni and WKMS radio, will make this year’s Murray Shakespeare Festival one to remember.

“I am looking forward to seeing perennial favorite Rick Blunt, an actor with the American Shakespeare Center (ACS) who has come to Murray for the last six years, in two of Shakespeare’s most engaging dramas — The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV Part 1, as well as watching him perform the villainous Iago in the tragedy, Othello,” said Dr. Rusty Jones, assistant professor of English at MSU and the chair of the Murray Shakespeare Festival. “Rick has come to love Murray over the years, and Murray has come to love Rick right back.

“I am also looking forward to the participation in the expanded range of workshops offered this year, some conducted by the American Shakespeare Center, some by Murray State faculty and some in collaboration, as is the community event hosted by Playhouse in the Park,” Jones continued.

MSU’s Cinema International program will feature O, a modern movie adaptation of Othello, as its showing March 6-8 in the Curris Center Theater at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Admission is free.

A “Shakespeare Flash Mob-Insult Battle!” with MSU’s Sock and Buskin Club will be held from noon-1 p.m. in the Curris Center Rocking Chair Lounge on Monday, March 10. ASC also hosts its first workshop, “Very Honest Knaveries-Shakespeare’s Disguises,” that day from 2-3 p.m. in Johnson Theatre in the Doyle Fine Arts Center, followed by the “O Excellent Motion-Performance Clues” workshop from 3-4 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium.

The first performance of the festival by the American Shakespeare Center will be held that evening when the actors take on Henry IV Part 1 at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium.

Tuesday, March 11, will feature performances of Othello at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., both in Lovett Auditorium and two workshops — one on rhetoric and the other on the publishing of Shakespeare’s works.

Wednesday, March 12 repeats Othello at 10 a.m. in Lovett Auditorium. Two more ASC workshops will be held that afternoon on staging and playing multiple characters. Also, a lecture, “The World of Young Prince Hal,” will be given by Dr. Kathy Callahan, assistant professor of history, at 3:30 in 105 Faculty Hall. The evening concludes with an ASC event at Playhouse in the Park at 5 p.m. (donations will be accepted).

Dr. Barbara Cobb, a professor of English and the initiator of the “Shakespeare in the Schools” effort, will travel to Murray Elementary and Murray Middle schools on the morning of Thursday, March 13. A stage fighting workshop is scheduled that afternoon and a “Gender and Diversity Studies Roundtable” with Dr. Josh Adair, assistant professor of English, is set for 3:30 p.m. in 107 Faculty Hall. The Merry Wives of Windsor take the stage at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium.

This Murray Shakespeare Festival wraps on Friday, March 14, with a 10 a.m. performance of Henry IV Part 1 in Lovett Auditorium. An opportunity to “Talk Back with the ASC Actors” will be held following the performance in Lovett. A final ASC workshop for recruitment visitation (time and location to be announced) will also be held.

All events in the Murray Shakespeare Festival are free except for the play performances by the actors of the American Shakespeare Center. Tickets for those are $7 for MSU students, faculty and staff, and $12 for the general public.

For complete information on the 2014 schedule for the Murray Shakespeare Festival, go online at

Full Schedule for 2014 Murray Shakespeare Festival
Thurs.-Sat., March 6-8:
-“O” (2001); Cinema International (Curris Center Theater; 7:30 PM; Free Admission)

Monday, March 10:

-“Shakespeare Flash Mob”: Insult Battle! Curris Center, Rocking Chair Lounge; Noon-1PM (with MSU’s Sock and Buskin Club)
-ASC Workshops: “Very Honest Knaveries-Shakespeare’s Disguises” (2-3 PM; Fine Arts 111-Johnson Theatre; free); “O Excellent Motion-Performance Clues” (3-4 PM; Lovett; free)
-Henry IV, Part 1 (Performance; 7-9:15 PM; Lovett)

Tuesday, March 11:

-Othello (Performance; 10 AM-12:15 PM; Lovett)
-ASC Workshop: “Shakespeare’s Rhetoric” (3:30-4:30 PM; Lovett Auditorium; free)
-Lecture, Ashley Ireland (Waterfield Library): “From the Stage to the Page: How Shakespeare’s Works became Published” (3:30-4:30 PM; Waterfield Library Classroom 210; free)
-Othello (Performance; 7-9:15 PM; Lovett)

Wednesday, March 12:

-Othello (Performance; 10 AM-12:15 PM; Lovett)
-ASC Workshops: “Wooden O-Shakespeare’s Staging” (2-3 PM; Lovett; free) & “Shaping Fantasies-Playing Multiple Characters” (3-4 PM; FA 111-Johnson Theatre; free)
-Lecture: Dr. Kathy Callahan (History Dept.): “The World of Young Prince Hal” (3:30-4:30 PM; FH 105; free)
-ASC event at Playhouse in the Park (5-6 PM; Murray Central Park; donations accepted)

Thursday, March 13:
-Trip to Murray Elementary School and Murray Middle School w/ Barbara Cobb (8:30-9:30 AM and 10-11 AM)
-Stage Fighting Workshop: ASC and Matthew Crider, Theater Dept. (3-4 PM; Lovett; free)
-Gender and Diversity Studies Roundtable with Dr. Josh Adair (3:30-4:30 PM; FH 107; free)
-Merry Wives of Windsor (Performance; 7-9:15 PM; Lovett)

Friday, March 14:
-Henry IV, Part 1 (Performance; 10 AM-12:15 PM; Lovett)
-“Talk Back with the ASC Actors” (after the Henry IV, Part 1 performance in Lovett)
-ASC workshop for recruitment visitation (workshop, time, and location TBD)


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