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ST. MEINRAD – Saint Meinrad Archabbey will once again host the National Players, America’s longest-running classical touring company, as it presents plays April 19-20.
The actors will perform William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” April 19. On Saturday, April 20, the performance will be “Animal Farm,” adapted from George Orwell’s novel by Ian Wooldridge. Both performances are free and open to the public.
The performances will be held in the Forest Park High School auditorium in Ferdinand. Both performances will begin at 7 p.m. CDT.
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 64 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 2.7 million audience members, many in areas isolated geographically or economically, or who would otherwise never see quality live performances of classic plays.
“Romeo and Juliet” tells the classic story of forbidden love, but according to play director Jason King Jones, it’s as relevant today as it was in Shakespeare’s day.
“Shakespeare’s play is starkly contemporary and surprisingly universal. It’s not of the past, but of the now,” says Jones.
In the National Players adaptation of “Animal Farm,” revolution has broken out on Manor Farm and the animals have claimed their independence. Humans are banished, and the new “Animal Farm” will be a beautiful egalitarian paradise. All animals are equal: pigs, horses, goats, donkeys and dogs. They can build their new utopia, but can they resist the corruption that led to the humans’ downfall?
From the author of “1984,” this chilling and provocative fable is brought to the stage with focused clarity and spark. There is no charge for these presentations or a need for reservations. The programs will serve as tickets and will be distributed beginning 30 minutes before show times.
Doors to the auditorium will open 20 minutes before the show times. Some seats will be reserved for the hosts from Saint Meinrad Archabbey as well as Forest Park High School.
The National Players’ performances hosted by Saint Meinrad are made possible through a grant from the B.J. Killian Foundation. For more information, call 357-6501.