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National Players on stage this weekend

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Acclaimed actors presenting 'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'Lord of the Flies'

By The Staff

ST. MEINRAD - National Players, America's longest-running classical touring company, will present two plays at Saint Meinrad Archabbey Friday and Saturday.

The free performances will be "Much Ado About Nothing" Friday and "Lord of the Flies" Saturday. The public is welcome to attend. Both plays begin at 7 p.m. in St. Bede Theater.

Currently a program of Olney Theatre Center in Maryland, National Players has earned a unique name and place in American theater history. Over the last 60 years, the acting company has performed in the East Wing of the White House; in Europe, Asia and the Middle East for American military; and throughout 40 states.

Known for its talent and commitment to excellence, National Players has brought literature to life for more than 2.5 million audience members, many in areas isolated geographically or economically, or who would otherwise never see quality live performances of classic plays.

William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is a comedy set in Messina, Sicily. The story concerns a pair of lovers named Claudio and Hero who are due to be married in a week.

To pass the time before their wedding day, they conspire with Don Pedro, the prince of Aragon, to trick their friends, Beatrice and Benedick, into confessing their love for one another.

The prince's illegitimate brother, Don John, however, jealous of both Don Pedro's power and his affection for Claudio, plans to destroy the coming wedding.

The National Players' adaptation of William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" illustrates how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of girls and boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results.

Left to themselves, far from modern civilization, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state. "Lord of the Flies" is a coming-of-age tale where school children are forced to grow up and face a war they have created themselves. It explores human nature and individual welfare versus the common good.   

Parking for both shows is available in the Guest House and student parking lots. For more information, call Mary Jeanne Schumacher at (812) 357-6501.