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'Actors From The London Stage' In San Antonio To Perform, Inspire Students

Photo by Peter Ringenberg
cast: Peter Bray, Dominic Gerrard, Wela Mbusi, Ben Eagle, Anna Wright

An acting program at the University of Texas at San Antonio has found an interesting way to add drama to its teaching.

"They send out a troupe every year of five actors who go to a variety of different universities," UTSA's Dr. Kimberly Fonzo explains.

For 29 years, the Actors From The London Stage touring company has brought this experience to campuses across the United States. For one week in each city, a Shakespearean play is performed.

"The play this year is Measure For Measure, which is considered one of Shakespeare's problem plays. It explores questions of morality and justice," Fonzo says.

The program isn't stocked with beginner actors who just happen to have British accents.

"These are the best of the best," she says. "These actors have performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with the National Theater. These are classically trained English actors."

Students who see words from the Bard himself delivered by people who know the material intimately, are likely to be quite inspired.

"I had a student who saw the play all three times that it was performed. He went on Wednesday and he just couldn't get enough. A lot of these students, they've never seen a play before," Fonzo says. "And for this to be the very first play that they see, arguably, the very best playwright, performed by some of the very best actors--it's just such a privilege to have on this campus."

Fonzo says the ephemeral nature of stage acting is one of the many things young students might learn from the actors' short time here.

"The moment that happens on stage will never happen again," she says. "It's not like a movie, where you can rewind it, or you can watch it over and over again. A play is in the moment."

San Antonians have three such moments to see Measure By Measure at UTSA's Recital Hall on the university's main campus. Performances begin at 7:30 on Wednesday, September 27th; Friday, September 29th and Saturday, September 30th.

Find more on the performances, click here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii