The University Wits Present Pericles

May 6, 2004

Is Staunton ready for a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater? Students in Mary Baldwin University’s Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance Program have figured out a great way to find out. These industrious grad students will be producing Shakespeare’s Pericles on an outdoor stage with a standing audience – just like the Globe Theater – to be enjoyed with the setting of the sun, May 12-14 at 5:30 p.m. and May 15 at 4:30 p.m. The production only asks that you pay what you think it’s worth – after the show!

Produced by the University Wits, the graduate student organization at Mary Baldwin University, Pericles promises pirates, princesses, and plenty of iambic pentameter! Pericles is Shakespeare’s fairy tale, following Prince Pericles’ adventures across the sea as he encounters riddles, love, loss, and some of the most beautiful language ever written. The play is directed by M.Litt. candidate, Colleen Sullivan, with original music by M.Litt. candidates Dorene Fisher and Angie Barbera. The University Wits are so sure audiences will be blown away by this magical play, that they are asking patrons to decide for themselves what two-hours of great entertainment is worth, after seeing the show.

Pericles will be performed on the Mary Baldwin University campus in the courtyard of Rose Terrace (the red brick building on the corner of Academy and Market streets). The platform stage will stand 4 feet 6 inches off the ground with audience members standing right up against it on three sides. One of the greatest discoveries made by the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London is the dynamic energy of a standing audience. Especially with an exciting play like Pericles – the standing audience transforms the play into an event that everyone takes part in. (Patrons who cannot stand for a length of time are asked to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit upon.) The event actually begins one hour before the performance starts, when the courtyard opens up for picnicking, socializing, and a Greenshow.

Staunton is fast becoming Shakespeare country and Pericles is a perfect opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate what makes this one of the world’s greatest Shakespeare destinations!