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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Troupe brings Shakespeare to life in theater and classroom

The Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts welcomes to the stage, Shakespeare’s comedy, “As You Like It.” Performed by the acclaimed Actors From the London Stage in Rudder Theatre, the show began Wednesday and will run through Friday.
Kirsten Pullen, associate professor of performance studies, said she values AFLS for bringing to life the works of Shakespeare and educating students in the arts.
“Actors from the London Stage are one of our favorite groups – last year over 1,200 people saw them perform and over 1,500 students worked with them in classes,” Pullen said. “They are able to make Shakespeare come alive for students who might not understand what makes a playwright who has been dead for over 400 years so important.”
Pullen said these actors also make frequent classroom visits as guest speakers to interact with the students.
“Because the AVPA is especially committed to increasing arts education on campus, we really appreciate the work they do in the classroom,” Pullen said. “That’s why we’ve brought them back.”
Laura Estill, assistant professor of English, welcomed actor Patrick Miller of AFLS to her class to speak with her students.
“The Actors from the London Stage is a wonderful organization and I’m thrilled to have them come to TAMU,” Estill said. “Their style of performance is energetic and engaging.”
Estill said for many students, college it is the first time they have a chance to see a professional play.
“Seeing an AFLS production has the potential to open the stage door, so to speak, and get people into the theater, which both educates and entertains, as Horace put it,” Estill said. “Having the AFLS visit classes brings the material we study to life in new ways.”
AFLS features an ensemble cast of five professional actors who perform Shakespeare’s plays as multiple characters in each performance.
“I’m looking forward to having them come to both my Shakespeare classes this semester to talk about how our understanding of Shakespeare changes when we speak it aloud, embody it and consider the characters from inside out rather than just as spectators,” Estill said.
Morgan Malhiot, senior communication major, attended the play on Wednesday with a friend enrolled in a Shakespeare class.
“It’s good, it’s funny. The actors and actresses are really comical,” Malhiot said. “It was kind of confusing at first but you get used to it. But the actors and actresses are really good at portraying each character differently and distinguishing each character.”
Estill said Aggies might not realize that it is a privilege to have theater professionals of this caliber visit campus. She hopes as many people as possible take advantage of this opportunity.
“I think the Actors From the London Stage really brought the play to life through their performance,” Malhiot said. “Everyone in the audience was laughing and seemed to be enjoying the performance. Shakespeare can be confusing if you haven’t studied him, but the performers made you want to understand and pay attention because you could tell they have so much passion for what they do.”

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