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'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' and 'Julius Caesar' in One Hour Family Versions

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The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s acclaimed educational touring company Shakespeare LIVE! will present colorful and dynamic performances of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar on March 8 and April 12 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue, at Lancaster Road, in Madison. An engaging post-play discussion with the company of actors will follow each one-hour family performance. Tickets are $16. For tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.

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Since 1997, Shakespeare LIVE! has presented more than 1,600 performances to more than a half a million young people at more than 800 schools and other venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and Connecticut. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Shakespeare LIVE! tour is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

One-hour family performances of Shakespeare’s popular comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be held on Saturday, March 8 at 12 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 12 p.m. at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. When starry-eyed young lovers and zany would-be actors cross paths with mischief-making fairies in a magical forest, the result is one of the world’s most uproarious comedies. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is appropriate for grades 3 and up.

One-hour family performances of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar will be held Saturday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 2:30 p.m. at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. Personal loyalty and patriotic duty collide as cries of revolution rock the Roman Capitol in Shakespeare’s searing political thriller. This depiction of a nation at a crossroads is as timely now as when Shakespeare penned it in 1599. Julius Caesar is appropriate for students in middle school and up.

The March performances are part of The Stages Festival, a month-long, state-wide celebration of theatre and the performing arts. The Stages Festival, a project of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, offers discounted and free tickets to performances, workshops, and events statewide suitable for all age groups. To celebrate The Stages Festival, tickets for the March 8th performances are $16 for adults and include one free ticket for a child under age 18. Call the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Box Office at 973-408-5600 or email BoxOffice@ShakespeareNJ.

In conjunction with The Stages Festival, the Theatre’s artist-educators and Shakespeare LIVE! company members will present “Speak the Speech,” an engaging workshop that gets participants on their feet to perform Shakespeare’s text and is designed to transform Shakespeare from merely words in “some old book” into fun, easily understood, and accessible “play.” The 90-minute “Speak the Speech” workshop will begin at 10 a.m. on March 8th at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. The workshop is offered free of charge by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance; advance reservations are required. Call the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Box Office at 973-408-5600 to make a reservation.

Shakespeare LIVE!, celebrating its 18th season, travels to schools and other venues throughout the state and wider region with 60-minute versions of two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. To inquire about bringing Shakespeare LIVE! to your school or venue, call 973-845-6742 or e-mail rworshinski@ShakespeareNJ.org.

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare for a New Generation. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation, bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to thousands of middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States. This is the eleventh year of Shakespeare for a New Generation, the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history.

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s 2013 Main Stage season begins in late May and continues through December. The season includes Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Devil’s Disciple by George Bernard Shaw, The Alchemist by Ben Jonson and adapted by Bonnie J. Monte, Wittenberg by David Davalos, Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. For its annual Outdoor Stage production at the Greek amphitheater at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morris Township, The Shakespeare Theatre will present Molière’s comedy The Learned Ladies, translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur.

The acclaimed Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is an independent, professional theatre company located on the Drew University campus in Madison, New Jersey.

Pictured: A Midsummer Night's Dream. ©The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

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