By Nikka Hronis
April 3, 2014. In his history play “Henry IV, Part I,” William Shakespeare writes, “O gentlemen, the time of life is short! To spend that shortness basely were too long…” Of course, Shakespeare spent his days anything but basely, and this April the High Country celebrates his 450th birthday with the High Country Shakespeare Celebration. This celebration is made up of a collection of performances and special events organized in honor of Shakespeare’s legacy and lifetime of works.
So put on your party hat and come out to celebrate with your fellow Bard buffs any and all of the following Shakespeare events in the High Country this April!
Appalachian’s Women’s Theatre Troupe presents this original work by ASU’s own theater lecturer and in-house mastermind Derek Davidson from April 4 to 6. “A Part Equal” explores the effect Shakespeare had on the lives and works of prominent women such as Virginia Woolf, Sarah Bernhardt, Fiona Shaw and Hallie Flanagan. This student-run production hits the stage at the intimate I.G. Greer Studio Theatre on ASU campus at 7 P.M. Friday and Saturday and 2 P.M. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 for students and faculty and $8 to the general public and are available at the door one-half hour prior to each performance.
“Kiss Me Kate”
Coming to the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts April 11 to 13, Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate” is set up as a “play within a play,” that follows the conflicts of a troubled production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” This production is a collaborative effort with ASU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, the Hayes School of Music, and the ASU Office of Cultural Programs. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 P.M. and Sunday at 2 P.M. Tickets are $15 for students and $18 for adults and are available online here, or at the Schaefer Center box office, (828) 262-4046.
In/Visible Theatre steps onto the scene in the High Country once again this spring, this time with the original innovative production of “Kill Will,” featuring a collection of killer fight scenes from over a dozen Shakespeare plays, including King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and Titus Andronicus. Derek Davidson strikes again, creating a “sublime combination of poetic text, and fighting with swords, daggers, and even meat pies” with ample help from his talented troupe. Come be a part of the action from Wednesday April 23 (The Bard’s birthday), to Saturday April 26 at ASU’s Valborg Theatre. All performances begin at 7:30 P.M. Tickets are available online here, or may also be purchased free of service fees starting at 7 P.M. at the Valborg box office on the day of the shows, weekdays at the Valborg box office from 1-5 P.M., and weekdays at the Schaefer Center box office from 9:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.
The celebration continues on April 23 at ASU’s Belk Library with an open house in the Rhinehart Rare Book and Special Collection Room from 2-4 P.M. Librarian Greta Browning will display and answer questions about the university’s copy of “Holinshed’s Chronicles,” Shakespeare’s primary source for Macbeth and portions of his other plays and histories. Refreshments will be served in room 421.
Birds of the Bard
Shakespeare mentions birds over 600 times in his writings, so in honor of his birthday, this year’s Boone Bird Festival’s theme is “Birds of the Bard!” Held on Saturday, April 26, from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. by, this avian affair offers visitors a chance to birdwatch their way through Daniel Boone Native Gardens and around the Strawberry Hill Arboretum. This family friendly event is free and open to the public. Checkout more on the Boone Bird Festival’s Facebook.