The Actors From The London Stage- Shakespeare at Notre Dame Program

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Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), a five-member British touring company co-founded by renowned British actor Patrick Stewart, will be on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Chattanooga State campuses for a week-long residency during the week of February 29 – March 5. While stopping in Chattanooga during their annual tour of university campuses from Massachusetts to Hawaii, they will be presenting three performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the UTC Fine Arts Center’s Ward Theater,Thursday through Saturday evening, March 3-5 at 7:30 each evening plus a pop-up performance downtown on the Walnut Street Bridge, Wednesday, March 2nd, from 3 – 4 pm.  

The residency with AFTLS is being supported by UTC’s Jim Kennedy Professorship in English, Department of Theatre and Speech, Honors College, and SunTrust Chair of Excellence in The Humanities along with Chattanooga State’s Global Scholars program through the University of Notre Dame’s Shakespeare at Notre Dame program. 

Shakespeare at Notre Dame is a program that recognizes the centrality of the study of Shakespeare in humanistic pedagogy at the University of Notre Dame. 

Adaptable by design, AFTLS workshops can serve students from a variety of disciplines. The actors cultivate an appreciation of Shakespeare’s works, and more importantly, enhance students’ critical reading and thinking abilities as well as develop their presentation and team-building skills.

Acts of Shakespeare at Park(ing) DayEach residency is highlighted by performances of a full-length Shakespeare production. Featuring minimal props, costumes, and set, the clever staging showcases the talents of this unique five-member ensemble while keeping the focus where it belongs – on Shakespeare’s words.

The pop-up performance on the Walnut Street bridge will allow UTC and CSCC theatre students to work directly with an AFTLS actor while participating in a year-old project called Acts of Shakespeare” by its organizer,Evans Jarnefeldt, Asst. Professor of Theatre at Chattanooga State, UTC Theatre Department faculty member, and professional actor. “Realizing there were limited opportunities for Chattanooga State and UTC students to perform his plays, I developed Acts of Shakespeare,” says Jarnefeldt. “In the month of September, actors from both schools come together and turn both campuses into giant, impromptu stages.Turning amphitheaters and sidewalks, courtyards and building steps into performance spaces not only provided creative opportunities for the actors, it also introduced student and faculty spectators to the Bard in a whole new way.  We call the process “perambulating”, a walking investigation of the text.”

On Tuesday, March 1st at 2:30 pm, two CSCC Global Scholar students Chandler Kennedy and Marcus Brummet will present case studies of Shakespeare’s influence across the globe as part of a forum on Global Shakespeare. AFTLS actors will join the panel for the following Q&A and reception.

For more information please visit http://shakespeare.nd.edu/actors-from-the-london-stage/.

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Brittney is the Digital Asset Manager of Chattanooga Magazine.

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