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Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2006

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)
pemery@uh.edu

MAGIC AND MAYHEM HIGHLIGHT 2006 HOUSTON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Just as 17th century audiences reveled in the works of William Shakespeare under the stars at the legendary Globe Theatre, Houstonians have also come to enjoy the Bard’s work beneath the glow of the night’s skies.

For the 32nd year, the University of Houston and the City of Houston team up to present the Houston Shakespeare Festival (HSF) in Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. This year’s productions, “The Tempest” directed by Sidney Berger, UH School of Theatre director, and “Titus Andronicus” directed by Carolyn Houston Boone, UH associate professor of theater, will be performed July 29 - Aug. 12.

“Shakespeare’s plays continue to resonate with audiences,” Berger said. “These works often articulate the major questions of everyday life in ways that are so compelling, that certain lines or scenes live on in people’s memories.”

“The Tempest” is the final play written by Shakespeare. It tells the tale of wizard and deposed duke Prospero, who lives on an island and uses his magic to manipulate those who have wronged him and those who love him. Professional stage veteran Ken Ruta will portray Prospero.

Set in ancient Rome, “Titus Andronicus” is considered one of Shakespeare’s most violent plays. Turmoil erupts when the Roman emperor dies and a successor is chosen. This production, however, presents a new take on the bloody story. Since graphic violence is often taken to new extremes in film, director Boone has decided to employ a new technique for illustrating the carnage of each battle or murder.

“A chorus of actors will present an object or a happening to represent the blood letting,” Boone said. “During the play’s first death, instead of blood on the actor, two cast members pour stage blood into a glass container that stays on stage throughout the show.

Since its inception in 1975, HSF has entertained nearly a half million theatergoers with free performances in Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theatre. HSF is a recognized Equity theatre and is a member of the League of Resident Theatres.

Performances begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but tickets are required for covered seating and are available at the Miller box office between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and one hour prior to each performance. For more information, call the box office at 713-284-8352 or visit www.hfac.uh.edu/theatre/performances_houstonshakespearefestival.html.

WHAT: The 2006 Houston Shakespeare Festival: “The Tempest” and “Titus Andronicus”
WHEN:

“The Tempest”: 8:30 p.m. July 29, Aug. 2, 4, 10, 12
“Titus Andronicus: 8:30 p.m. July 30, Aug. 3, 5, 9, 11

WHERE: Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park
WHO: The University of Houston’s School of Theatre and the City of Houston

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.