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American Shakespeare Center workshop, play Feb. 3

January  14, 2011

The American Shakespeare Center will offer a morning workshop and evening performance of As You Like It on Feb. 3 in Augustana's Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Ave., Rock Island.

The free workshop begins at 10:30 a.m. The internationally acclaimed theater company will explore the text of As You Like It, a comedy about sibling rivalry, mistaken identities and mixed-up lovers. No reservations are needed to attend the workshop.

The company will perform As You Like It at 8 p.m. in a production featuring experienced actors, singers and musicians to delight Shakespeare enthusiasts of all ages. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased by calling (309) 794-7306 or visiting www.augustana.edu/tickets.

The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) has been performing Shakespeare's works for more than two decades in the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theater. The productions shatter the "fourth wall" between the actors and the audience by putting audience members on three sides and keeping the house lights on at all times — a setting just as it would have been in Shakespeare's day.

ASC workshops engage audiences in Shakespeare's words and meanings. The workshop on As You Like It will examine gender ideals and stereotypes, pastoral and city life, and the (sometimes ridiculous) choices we make when we fall in love.

Dr. Karin Youngberg, English professor and Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities, has been teaching Shakespeare at Augustana for many years. She has seen multiple ASC productions and is looking forward to the workshop on As You Like It. "The company is very young and full of energy," she said. "They are willing to try things that connect with the youth in the audience."

Dr. Youngberg believes that As You Like It is as meaningful for modern audiences as it was for its original audience. The characters interact in a forest, where they encounter each others' opposing and comical views on love and life. "In the forest, every point of view is permissible," Dr. Youngberg said. "Different generations see the play differently, but they all see themselves."

Scott Cason
Assistant vice president of communication and marketing
(309) 794-7323
scottcason@augustana.edu