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FAU's Department of Theatre and Dance Presents 'Titus Andronicus'

BOCA RATON, FL (February 13, 2008) – Florida Atlantic University’s department of theatre and dance will present William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” from Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 24 in Studio One Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.   General admission tickets are $16.   FAU faculty, staff and alumni may purchase tickets for $10.   FAU students may obtain tickets free at the door or ahead of time with a $5 reservation fee.   Tickets may be purchased by visiting, by calling 800-564-9539 or at the theatre two hours prior to the performance.  

Following the Saturday, February 23 matinee, there will be a panel discussion entitled “Spectacular Violence: The Body in Titus Andronicus.”   The panel will include faculty from FAU’s departments of English, history, anthropology, and languages, linguistics and comparative literature.

“Titus Andronicus” is Shakespeare’s earliest and perhaps bloodiest play.   It is about a Roman war hero, Titus Andronicus, who returns home with dead sons and war prisoners.   He returns to a disordered nation that is looking to Titus to lead it into a better time.   A military man, with no interest in becoming emperor, Titus declines the throne and supports the coronation of the eldest son of the former Emperor.   The new Emperor marries the captive Queen of the Goths, a woman who has sworn to destroy Titus in order to avenge his murder of her sons.   A vicious and unrelenting cycle of revenge follows, as Shakespeare’s play reveals the tragic and sometimes comic consequences of the all too human desire to repay pain with pain.  

Often described as Shakespeare’s most sensationalistic play, “Titus Andronicus,” although consistently popular, is a rarely performed title.   While it is perhaps Shakespeare’s most graphically violent play, it is also one that asks important questions like:   Who should be our next leader, and how should a nation choose its leaders?   What is the difference between justice and revenge?   What do parents owe their children, and likewise, what do children owe their parents?   The play moves between abstract issues of justice and more concrete issues of family loyalty.    “Titus Andronicus” is a play that shifts between these very personal and very global perspectives.  

This production includes a cast of 16 actors, comprised of both graduate and undergraduate students at FAU.   It is directed by Sheldon Deckelbaum, a newly hired assistant professor in the department of theatre and dance interested in re-interpreting classic and contemporary plays.   Faculty designers on the production include Gvozden Kopani (scenic design), Tim Dial (costume design), Tom Shorrock (lighting design), and Joey Bargsten (music composition and sound design).

The play is presented by the department of theatre and dance in the School of the Arts, part of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.   For more information, call 561-297-3810.

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