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London actors are about to get dramatic at UTSA

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Robin Savage
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Actors of the London stage

A Shakespeare production at UTSA later this month will take on more than a little authenticity, and those accents you’ll hear won’t be the result of good acting.

Assistant Professor of English Kimberly Fonzo said they're genuinely British.

“These are five actors who have performed with some of the most renowned companies in the UK," Fonzo said. "They come here, and they don't just put on a play. They actually do workshops with our students in their classes. So it's a really big opportunity for our students.”

Fonzo said this program of breathing life into Shakespeare productions at UTSA goes way back.

“The UTSA Friends of Shakespeare has been hosting the actors from the London stage for 34 years with a brief break, a two year break because of the pandemic. So we're back this year with "Macbeth," and we're happy to be back from this lull,” she explained.

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Kimberly Fonzo
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Kimberly Fonzo

This kind of professional exposure to drama students can compel them to learn things they might not otherwise learn.

“Absolutely. And they're not just coming to acting classes. They're coming to communications there. They're going to linguistic classes and discussing dialects," Fonzo said. "They're doing movement exercises with the musicians. The music students are learning how to sit up straight and bring some emotion to their physical performance while they're playing.”

The play they’re presenting, "Macbeth," is an interesting choice, given recent events and British history.

“And what's interesting about "Macbeth" is that Shakespeare wrote it, we think, during one of the plague years when the London theaters were shut down,” Fonzo said.

So its choice in post-pandemic San Antonio is quite appropriate. Fonzo said the constraints of the small acting troupe is also one of its charms.

“It's a five-person version of "Macbeth," so the actors each take on four or five roles apiece," she said. "And that's part of the joy of the production — watching the actors transform themselves just with a costume piece and a change of their posture and their voices.”

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Robin Savage
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Actors from the London Stage

The public has three opportunities to see the production on campus.

“The UTSA recital hall, 7:30, on Wednesday the 21st, Friday the 23rd, And Saturday the 24th. And you can buy tickets online.” Fonzo said.

Customers can also buy tickets at the door for cash only.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

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