New Jersey Stage

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cape May Stage Offers a Sign-Interpreted Performance for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, Cape May's premier professional Equity theatre, with the generous support of PNC Arts Alive, is proud to announce a spectacular evening of live theatre on Friday, November 19.  Theatrical interpreters for the Deaf Celeste Herse and Anne Maselli will interpret the Stage's 8:00 pm performance of one of London's longest-running plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The ASL signed performance will take place at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at Bank and Lafayette Streets.

Herse, a local interpreter in the South Jersey area, is thrilled to return to the Stage this fall after previously interpreting several of the Stage's productions last season.  "I love theater because it takes you to different places and signing performances is such a unique experience. As an interpreter, not only do you have to listen, but also translate and communicate each emotion like an actor to make the story come alive," explains Herse.  Herse will be joined on stage with theatrical interpreter and colleague, Anne Maselli. "Having a partner to work with on stage creates great interaction.  It's more meaningful for the Deaf to see two people interpreting and it's a lot of fun," states Herse.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was written and performed by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1987.  From there, it moved to the Criterion in London's West End, running for nine record-breaking years.  Complete Works is a madcap romp through everything ever written by the greatest writer of the English language.  Three actors perform each of Shakespeare's plays in the first act, in styles wildly divergent from their original: Titus Andronicus, for example, is performed as a cooking show and Othello is told through gangsta rap.  All of Shakespeare's histories are told as a football game using the British Crown as the football, and all of his comedies are reduced to one reading, the justification being that they all use the same plots, anyway.  At the end of the first act, the actors realize they've left out the greatest play of them all -- Hamlet -- and the second act is spent rectifying this.  In all, it's two hilarious and enlightening hours of theater that you're unlikely to experience anywhere else!

PNC Financial Services Group is the presenting sponsor of Cape May Stage's ASL Interpreted Performance. The support is part of PNC Arts Alive, a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation to help area residents gain access to the arts, and help arts organizations expand and engage audiences.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) featuring theatrical interpreters is scheduled for Friday, November 19 at 8:00 PM. at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.   Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm through November 20th.  Tickets are $35 adults ($40 on Saturday evenings), $30 seniors, and $12.50 students. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's Web site,

This production is generously sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and co-sponsored by The Fudge Kitchen.  This season's sponsors include 410 Bank Street/Frescos, Exit Zero, The Washington Inn, Cape May Winery, and Lucky Bones.

photo credit: Aleksey Photography (Pictured L to R:  Jake Paque, Mark Irish, & David Schmittou)