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AUS Blog

Shakespeare Returns to AUS

Posted by AUS blog on Nov 11, 2014 11:14:00 AM

By Farah Ahmed

Three years between Shakespeare plays is long enough, according to American University of Sharjah Associate Professor of Performing Arts Anthony Tassa, whose Performing Arts Program will present Antony and Cleopatra starting today at AUS.

American_University_of_Sharjah-104Macbeth Arabia as performed at American University of Sharjah in 2011

Tassa, whose last effort at adapting the Bard was Macbeth Arabia in 2011, added that the play’s political and Egyptian cultural elements were also factors in the decision to stage it at AUS.

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“We try to do a classic piece every couple of years, and we haven’t done Shakespeare for three years,” Tassa said, adding that Antony and Cleopatra will have a “modern feel” in terms of costumes and music. A few dance elements have also been incorporated, he said.

Tassa auditioned 50 students for the play and cast 22 of them. “The primary thing I was looking for in students who auditioned is how they handled the language,” Tassa said

American_University_of_Sharjah_-_5Macbeth Arabia as performed at American University of Sharjah in 2011

He noted that students should know how to manage the difficulties in Shakespeare’s poetry and still be able to convey a sense of character.

According to Tassa, half the students acting in this play are “fairly experienced,” having previously performed in one or more shows. But there are a lot of “fresh faces,” he added.

Assistant Professors Catherine Moran, who designed the costumes, and Ted Rhyner, in charge of the set and lights, are assisting Tassa.

The play opens tonight in the Performing Arts Building rotunda. Performances will take place November 11–14 and 17–19 at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in Arts 101 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Tassa added that the current focus on “plays within the region” will continue with next semester’s production of Arabian Nights.

Farah Ahmed is a Mass Communication student at American University of Sharjah.

For more information about American University of Sharjah, please visit www.aus.edu

Topics: CAS, Performing Arts, Shakespeare,

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