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American Shakespeare Center to present ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ on Jan. 18

From left, Bridget Rue as Mistress Page, Rick Blunt as Falstaff, and Stephanie Holladay Earl as Mistress Ford in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” which is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, January 18, in West Point. (Photo by Michael Bailey)

Arts Alive Inc.’s upcoming performance of American Shakespeare Center’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, January 18, in the Robinson/Olsson Civic Auditorium in West Point.

Urban legend claims that Queen Elizabeth asked Shakespeare to write a play featuring “the fat knight in love.” In the effervescent The Merry Wives of Windsor (Wikipedia), Falstaff may not be truly in love, but he is certainly in lust. The objects of his desire, two clever Windsor wives, team up to outsmart and outmaneuver one of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most beloved bad boys. Shakespeare blends romance, farce, and festival in his liveliest and most affectionate portrait of domestic life in Elizabeth’s England.

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) is a regional theatre company located in Staunton. The theatre company focuses on the plays of Shakespeare, his contemporaries Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Christopher Marlowe, and other works related to Shakespeare, such as James Goldman’s “The Lion in Winter” and Bob Carlton’s “Return to the Forbidden Planet.” The American Shakespeare Center—through its performances, theatres, exhibitions, and educational programs—seeks to make Shakespeare, the joys of theatre and language, and the communal experience of the Renaissance stage accessible to all. By re-creating Renaissance conditions of performance, the ASC explores its repertory of plays for a better understanding of these great works and of the human theatrical enterprise past, present, and future.

The celebration starts before the show and continues during the intermission when the actors perform live, unplugged music, including classic rock, Top 40 hits, original songs, and more.

Doors open and pre-show music begins at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for this performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65 and over), and $10 for students. Tickets are available by phone at 804-843-3475, email at , or online. Tickets are also available at C&F Bank branches in West Point or at the door. Group rates are available at $15 each for groups of 10 or more.

Arts Alive gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of Eltham Auto Clinic, which helped make this performance possible. Arts Alive Inc. thanks the governments of West Point, King William County, New Kent County, and King and Queen County as well as the Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation and the Robinson Family for their support. In addition, Arts Alive Inc. is partially supported by funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as contributions from individuals.

The Visual Arts Committee of Arts Alive Inc. will have an opening of the “Photography Exhibit” on January 18 at 6:30 p.m. This exhibit will be on display from January 14 until March 11 in the exhibit area at the Robinson/Olsson Auditorium. Members of the community are invited to deliver their work to be displayed by 9 a.m. on January 14. All work must be framed and ready to be hung.  Call Gail Nichols at 843-4418 or Jeanette Wagner at 994-9668 for details.

posted 12.31.2013

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