WOMEN IN POWER AND WHAT THEY SAY: THE ACTORS SHAKESPEARE COMPANY AT NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY OFFERS “SHAKESPEARE’S QUEENS”
Feminine speeches from Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth strike the theme of women heard but not often heeded: ASC lab Project Is Open to the Public and Free
Ms. Hurd wanted to create something that the ASC women would find rewarding and also a touring show for local schools which might include a lecture and scene format. She was surprised when she researched the idea of speeches by Queens and found little, if anything.
“There have been projects on Shakespeare's Women to be sure, but none that really took into account the fact that his formative ideas of royalty were made in a unique crucible: a time, the only time, when England has had a Queen, without a consort, ruling, and ruling for a long time,” explained Ms. Hurd.
Shakespeare’s Queens has an underlying theme of women being underestimated even when in power. “Often as not, Shakespeare's queens are the ones who speak the most sense in a situation, or cut directly to the heart of a problem. They are not always listened to or believed, which is generally a failure of imagination or foresight on the part of the men around them, from Margaret in Henry VI expertly summarizing the dangers of the factionalism around Henry VI to even Cordelia's choice to be plain and truthful and not flowery and deceptive. And, in Elizabeth's speeches, she herself had to deal with a lot of second guessing on the part of her councilors,” Ms. Hurd added.
The enormous influence of Queen Elizabeth on Shakespeare is further explored by delving into some of her political writings and speeches. “She was a canny propagandist herself and often published speeches for public consumption to help craft her image,” Ms. Hurd says.
The cast of Shakespeare’s Queens includes ASC veteran actress Elizabeth Belonzi, ASC founding member Cindy Boyle, an ASC newcomer Erica Knight, and Ms. Hurd.
For information, or to make reservations call the ASC at NJCU box office at 201-200-2390 or visit HYPERLINK "http://www.ascnj.org" www.ascnj.org.
NJCU’s West Side Theater is conveniently located near Culver Avenue (on the NJCU campus), just minutes from Routes 440 and 1-9, exit 15E of the N.J. Turnpike, and exit 14B of the N.J. Turnpike extension I-78. There is ample parking in the University’s parking lot on West Side and Audubon Avenues.
The West Side Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Large print programs and assisted listening devices are available. Some performances are audio described. Call 201-200-2390 for more information and requests.
Actors Shakespeare Company at NJCU is a professional, classical theater-in- residence on the campus of New Jersey City University. The Company engages the community in clear, vibrant and affordable productions of Shakespeare and other classic works to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
ASC at NJCU officially became the University’s theater-in-residence in 2008, making NJCU only the fourth institution of higher education in New Jersey to be affiliated with a professional theatre company. The collaboration between the ASC, which is in its eleventh season, and NJCU began in 2005. Since that time, NJCU and ASC at NJCU have partnered to present professional classical theatre to both the NJCU and wider Jersey City communities and NJCU faculty and students have been regularly involved in ASC productions and workshops.
ASC at NJCU works through the NJCU Foundation, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Programming is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner organization of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey City University, and contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. ASC at NJCU is a proud member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
The 2010 – 2011 Season
Denise Hurd, Project Director
February 4 – 6, 2011