Premier Shakespearean Acting Company Coming To Stonehill

October 2, 2015

Beginning on Monday, October 26th, Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), a premier Shakespearean acting company, will be on the Stonehill campus for a one week residency where they will offer over 20 workshops and classes to students as well as nightly performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on October 28, 29, and 30 at 7 p.m. in Hemingway Theater.

AFTLS’ innovative workshops are conceived to engage students across several disciplines. The actors cultivate an appreciation of Shakespeare's works, both on the page and on the stage, and more importantly, enhance students' critical reading and thinking abilities as well as develop their presentation and team-building skills.

Housed at Stonehill’s sister school, the University of Notre Dame, the AFTLS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

"Actors From The London Stage, whose members regularly perform with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Globe Theatre in London, and the National Theatre of Great Britain, will bring the magic and humor of Midsummer Night's Dream to Stonehill. Innovative performances and unique workshops that engage students and faculty in new and exciting ways as readers and audiences of Shakespeare are at the heart of an AFTLS residency. Under the guidance of Actors From The London Stage, members of the College community will see words on a page come to glorious life," said English Professor Helga Duncan whose initiative screened the AFTLS Residency at the College.

The main goal of the AFTLS residency program is “to try and give students a voice,” says veteran company member Eunice Roberts.

Ticket prices for A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be $5 for students, $20 for faculty and staff, free for senior citizens, and $25 for all other patrons. To reserve tickets please call 508-565-5260.      

During their stay on campus, the actors will be joining several classes from a variety of academic areas, including business, environmental studies & science, English and education.

Examples include the actors leading students in the College’s Education Society in "finding their voice" and commanding a room through stage moves and voice coaching.

H.DuncanIn the "Shakespeare" course taught by Professor Helga Duncan, left, the actors will aid her class in working through the questions of gender, desire, and power in A Midsummer Night's, with an eye especially toward the formation of homosocial bonds and feminine identity.

In Professor Sue Mooney's "Honors Environmental Ethics" course, the actors will help students work through Shakespeare's conception of nature in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the ethical ramifications of human interactions with nature.