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Midwest Theater to host Shakespeare classic
December 05, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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This Sunday and the following Thursday, the Historic Midwest Theater in downtown Scottsbluff will present the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) production of Richard II.

The Shakespeare play is the first broadcast of “Live from Stratford-on-Avon,” a program to screen the RSC’s productions from Shakespeare’s home town. The Midwest will screen Richard II on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The production is directed by RSC artistic director Gregory Doran and stars David Tenant, who has also appeared as the 10th Doctor in the popular BBC series “Doctor Who” and in “Broadchurch.” The live production opened in October at Stratford-on-Avon, where it was filmed for distribution around the world. The live production is now onstage at the Barbican Theatre in London until the end of January.

“We were approached by Picturehouse Cinemas in London for venues in the states to participate in showing Richard II,” said Midwest executive director Billy Estes. “We’ve been interested in diversifying our alternative content programming, but we haven’t done anything like this before and it seemed like a good fit.”

Estes said they also plan to work with Picturehouse to screen two new productions in the spring and fall of 2014.

“For the last couple of years, patrons have been asking about Shakespeare or live theater and this fits in that vein for us,” he said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to bring something different to the area.”

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show. For tickets and more information, call the Midwest Theater at (308) 632-4311.

“I hope this brings a new and different of world culture and art to western Nebraska,” Estes said. “It gives people a place to experience something different.”

He added that the theater’s upgrade to digital projection and sound made it possible for them to pursue this type of programming. They’re currently working on a couple of programming possibilities, tentatively scheduled for February and March 2014. Closed circuit live performances might also be an option in the future.
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