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THE ACTING COMPANY PRESENTS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S "HENRY V" AND JAMES FENIMORE COOPER'S "THE SPY"

March 25, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES BACK

THE ACTING COMPANY

SHAKESPEARE’S "HENRY V"

Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 8 p.m.

JAMES FENIMORE COOPER’S "THE SPY"

Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 4 p.m. 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., March 24, 2009 Described by The New York Times as the “major touring classical theater in the United States,” The Acting Company engages an ensemble of the best-trained, talented young actors available to perform classic plays and contemporary works in their repertory. Center for the Arts audiences have been fortunate to experience a number of Acting Company productions over the years, including "Tartuffe," "O Pioneers," "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "The Rivals," "Jane Eyre" and most recently, "Moby Dick Rehearsed" and "The Tempest." Now, this nationally-known touring company brings two exciting theatrical productions of classic war stories to Fairfax, performing Shakespeare’s historical play of one of the greatest English warrior kings, "Henry V," on Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. and the world premiere of "The Spy," an adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s Revolutionary-era novel, on Sunday, April 26 at 4 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. This tour engagement of The Acting Company is funded through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's Mid Atlantic Tours program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

"Henry V" is a rousing, fascinating story of the power of courage and the price of glory. The young, ambitious British monarch inherits a troubled crown and seeking to secure his position at home, launches a hasty invasion of France to divert his country’s attention. This classic epic follows Henry and his men through the brutality of war as they confront their own destinies. Directed by Davis McCallum and co-produced with the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis, the play expertly balances the thrilling heroics of battle with the painful and complex reactions of those who fought it. Theatermania described the production as "outstanding" and praised Matthew Amendt’s portrayal of King Henry V as “masterful,” while the New York Post extolled the production: “That the action is so clear and accessible is a credit to Davis McCallum and his youthful ensemble, who speak the language with great clarity.” The New York Times called the production “boldly comic and unexpectedly moving.” 

Next, the company presents the world premiere of "The Spy," the stage adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s 1821 Revolutionary War narrative, which launched the genre of the espionage novel. Cooper, America’s first successful novelist, does what few other ever have – he presents both sides of a fateful historic conflict. In this riveting adaptation by noted playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, the protagonist is a mysterious peddler wrongly suspected of being a spy for the British, but who is, in fact, spying for General Washington. This thrilling production is directed by John Miller-Stephany, associate artistic director of Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater. KDHX in St. Paul, Minn. described Hatcher’s adaptation as “a thrill-a-minute.”

The Acting Company’s work is guided by its mission of touring the United States, commissioning new work, rediscovering classics, providing opportunities for gifted young actors and making theater accessible to all. Founded in 1972 by John Houseman and current Producing Director Margot Harley with members of the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division, The Acting Company has performed more than 100 productions for more than 2 million people in 48 states and nine foreign countries. The company has given a generation of actors the opportunity to master their craft. Alumni members include Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, David Schramm, Jesse L. Martin, Keith David, Lorraine Toussaint, David Ogden Stiers, Mary Lou Rosato, Lisa Banes, Derek Smith, Frances Conroy, Dennis Boutsikaris, Jeffrey Wright and Rainn Wilson.

 

This tour engagement of The Acting Company

is funded through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's Mid Atlantic Tours program in partnership

with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for THE ACTING COMPANY are $36, $28, $18. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other.  Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.