Arts and Entertainment

Guild brings Shakespeare to Auburn for a special performance Wednesday

Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors Benjamin Pelteson and Edwardo Placer perform in Auburn on Dec. 4 as a scholarship fundraiser for the Auburn Actors’ Guild. - Courtesy
Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors Benjamin Pelteson and Edwardo Placer perform in Auburn on Dec. 4 as a scholarship fundraiser for the Auburn Actors’ Guild.
— image credit: Courtesy

Reporter staff

The Bard pays Auburn a special visit next week.

With the help of a grant from The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's education department, the Auburn Actors' Guild brings Shakespeare to Auburn High School for a special appearance.

As part of the OSF's 2013 School Visit Program, festival actors Benjamin Pelteson and Edwardo Placer perform in the Auburn Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 as a scholarship fundraiser for the Auburn Actors' Guild.

This is the first year the club will award the scholarship to a student specifically planning to pursue a career in theatre.

"In the past the evening programs have been fun and should provide a great evening's entertainment," said Warren Kerr, the school's drama teacher and director of Auburn Actors' Guild productions.

Festival actors also will provide programs for Auburn High students on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 4 and 5.

Pelteson and Placer will perform an adaption of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", and a combination program featuring a series of scenes, poems, songs, sketches from Shakespeare and other classical and contemporary literature pieces.

The visiting actors work extremely well together, said Jay Shepherd, outreach programs coordinator for The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore.

"Edwardo is a very exuberant man, very energetic, very high energy, and Ben likes to play more of the laconic, sort of morose character," Shepherd said. "They really have a lot of fun with that in their performance and on tour in general ... playing off each other in this half-full, half-empty sort of personas."

Pelteson portrayed Edgar in "King Lear" and Second Lord in "Cymbeline" in one season at OSF. He has performed in New York and other regional theaters. He has made several film and TV appearances.

In addition to his work at OSF, Placer has performed roles in Off-Broadway and regional theater.

Now in its 43rd year, the OSF School Visit Program is one of the largest theatre outreach programs in the country. In the fall of 2012, six teams of actors visited schools throughout the West, teaching the works of Shakespeare and other renowned playwrights to over 59,000 students.

The program's overall goal is to acquaint students with live theatre and, in particular, to demystify Shakespeare by making his works accessible.

The School Visit teams come to public and private middle, junior high and high schools, as well as colleges, civic clubs and other organizations.

The 2013 School Visit Program is funded by generous grants from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, the Bowmer Society and also Stephen and Karen Tyler.

Tickets for the special Dec. 4 performance are available at the door – $10 general admission, $5 student K-12/senior/military

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