April 6, 2000

Shakespeare And Marlowe's Plays To Be Preformed

Shenandoah Shakespeare Express is back in town! On April 13 the troupe will perform Shakespeare’s popular comedy
‘Much Ado About Nothing’
at 7:30 p.m. at the City Auditorium (1101 Poyntz), followed on April 14 by Marlowe’s ‘Dr Faustus’ at 8 p.m. at the K-State
Union Little Theatre.

"Much Ado about Nothing" has been one of Shakespeare’s most enduring crowd pleasers since its very first performances.
Part of its appeal lies in the attractiveness of its chief protagonists, Beatrice and Benedick. It is, however, more than a
showcase for two actors with a sub-plot tacked
on; it is a finely crated reflection on how we see and interpret events and actions, and how we frequently get it all horribly

‘Much Ado’ relies on wit and humor to tell us very serious things about life and love, how
fragile they can both be, and how quickly we can debase what we should value most highly. And it’s got a lot of very good
jokes." said Nick Hutchison, Director

At the heart of ‘Doctor Faustus’ lie questions we have all asked,
especially when we are young. Sometimes they’re questions of our potential: what can I know? what can I invent? what can I
own? Sometimes they’re
questions of our limits: must I get sick? must I get older? must I die?
When we first meet Faustus, he is trying to decide what he should do with his life, but he finds the normal options for a man
of learning - philosophy, medicine, law, religion - too constricting. Because he wants no limits on what he can know or see or
do, he must turn to black magic and make a bargain with the devil. The fact that there are two extant versions of the play
(you will see a combination of the two) and the fact that the
play is noticeably brief (the production is well under two hours) have led some scholars to argue that the play is too short to
be complete.

It seems more likely that Marlowe simply knew that when you trade your soul to the
devil for twenty-four years, those twenty-four years pass in a blink."
said Ralph Alan Cohen, Director.

SSE invites audiences to experience shows produced as Shakespeare’s troupe performed them - on a bare stage surrounded
by audience members who
share the same light with the actors, each of whom plays several roles.

This highly interactive style allows SSE to forge a sense of community between performers and audience rarely achieved in
today’s darkened proscenium theatres.
Tickets for ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ are available from the Manhattan Arts Center, 1520 Poyntz, Streetside in Aggieville
and at the door ($8 general public, $5 students). Tickets for ‘Dr Faustus’ are available from
the Department of English and at the door ($6 general admission).

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express residency is sponsored by the Manhattan Arts Center, Manhattan Parks &
Recreation Department, the English Speaking Union, the Honors Program of the College of Arts & Sciences, the Department
of English, the undergraduate majors of Metaforum, and the graduate students of SAGE.