News from Montgomery College


900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: March 11, 2003 (03-21)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
(Pager 301-930-3880)

Montgomery College to Host Shakespeare Festival, March 24-28
 ‘Will Power’ Features Master Classes, Performances, Lectures, Workshops, and Exhibits at Rockville, Takoma Park Campuses 

            Montgomery College will present “Will Power,” a five-day festival of master classes, performances, lectures, workshops, and exhibits that celebrate the world of William Shakespeare. Events, which are free and open to the public, will be held Monday, March 24 to Friday, March 28, at the College’s Rockville and Takoma Park Campuses.

            Some of the week’s highlights will include: 

·        Shenandoah Shakespeare Express (SSE), will perform “Coriolanus,” Tuesday, March 25;  “The Taming of the Shrew,” Wednesday, March 26; and “The Tempest,” Thursday, March 27, Theatre Arts Arena, Rockville Campus. All performances begin at 8 p.m. The company will also lead master classes that week at both campuses.

            SSE, based in Staunton, Va., remains true to the performance conventions of Shakespeare’s time while giving the works a contemporary, accessible flavor. SSE promises “shamelessly entertaining” productions, balancing the desire to serve contemporary audiences with commitment to honoring the poetic nuances of Shakespeare’s language and staging conventions such as universal lighting, contemporary costume, doubling, gender-bending casting, and the inclusion and retention of music. Praised by critics for “blowing the cobwebs out of Elizabethan drama,” SSE delights audiences at home and abroad with a fresh, energetic approach to Shakespeare.

·        Distinguished Guest Master Teacher James David Jacobs will present “Enter with Drum, Trumpet Within, Hautboys Under the Stage: The Music in Shakespeare’s Plays,” a workshop/demonstration, Friday, March 28, 11 a.m., Rockville Campus, and 1:30 p.m., Takoma Park Campus.  

            Jacobs will talk about the challenges involved in reconstructing an “original” performance as well as a modern-dress production can still integrate Elizabethan music and text. Using live performance, recorded examples, and participation, Jacobs, who has composed, arranged, and performed music for over half the canon for some of the country's leading Shakespeare festivals, will take the audience on a journey through Shakespeare's musical world.

            Jacobs teaches cello, double bass, and recorder, and conducts the Classical Choir and Community Orchestra at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He has been active professionally, not only in the classical and early music worlds, but also in the worlds of rock, improvisation, folk, klezmer and roots music. He has composed or performed with many theater companies nationwide, and since 1999, has hosted the Friday morning “drive-time” slot on WNYE 91.5 FM. He has written music for several documentaries airing on network and cable television, and has performed with leading classical and popular music artists and groups, including Gustav Leonhardt, the Klezmatics, Third Eye Blind, and Shlomo Carlebach, to name a few.        

·        Distinguished Guest Master Teacher, Dr. Jack Jorgens will present a lecture, “Shakespeare on Film,” Wednesday, March 26, 7 p.m., Black Box Theatre, Communications Arts Center, Takoma Park Campus; and Friday, March 28, 1:30 p.m., Theatre Arts Arena, Rockville Campusl

            Jorgens will lead a discussion on representations and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works on film. Films shown on both campuses as part of the Will Power film series—“Looking for Richard,” “Titus,” “Ten Things I Hate About You,” “Q,” and “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”—will be the primary focus.

            He has won many awards for documentaries and educational films including the Telly and CINE Golden Eagle. Author of the critically acclaimed book, Shakespeare on Film, and many articles on film, theater, and literature, he has spoken at the World Shakespeare Congress, Modern Language Association conferences, the American Film Institute, the Smithsonian, Harvard, USC, and many other universities across the country. He is vice president and producer for Accent Media, a multicultural television and radio production company that specializes in

promotional, training, and corporate video/radio programs, as well as documentaries, language adaptations, and news packages.

            For more information about the “Will Power” Shakespeare festival at Montgomery College, please call 240-567-5250. The various events, to be held during the week of March 24, are also noted on the College’s web site. For details, visit and click on Calendar.

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