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Project Shakespeare staged reading Friday

Project Shakespeare will be presenting a staged reading of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s comedy “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)” on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Jaffrey Civic Center.

Snow date is March 1.

The reading will be directed by Project Shakespeare’s Associate Director Angela Vroom and will feature Alexa Murray, Christopher Commander, Eve Pierce, Lauren LeBritton, Patrick Sherlock, Ryan Hoiriis, Yasmine Seghir, Jennifer Migotsky and PS Founder and Artistic Director Deborah Shakespeare Thurber in the role of Constance Ledbelly.

The contemporary comedy imagines academic Constance Ledbelly frantically researching what she believes to be an earlier manuscript which provides clues into the origins of Shakespeare’s tragedies “Romeo and Juliet” and “Othello.” When personal and professional pressures mount, Constance finds herself transported into the worlds of both plays where she discovers the characters are even more interesting than their depictions in the surviving texts. Using text from the original plays combined with quick-witted modern day dialogue, “Goodnight Desdemona” is equal parts mystery and mad-cap comedy.

Vroom chose the play because of her fascination with the ongoing vibrant life and relevance of the work of Shakespeare. She is intrigued by the ways in which we view and interpret stories from over 400 years ago and finds MacDonald’s play to be a novel and unique spin on combining classic and contemporary theatre. In her work with Project Shakespeare Vroom is inspired by the new life and energy the student actors bring to their process and performances and she is excited to challenge them and the audience with this contemporary twist on two of Shakespeare’s greatest works.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and will be available at the door a half hour prior to curtain.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Project Shakespeare’s “For England” fund sending students to Stratford-upon-Avon in August to perform “Hamlet” on the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre, The Dell.

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