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One-Man Show on Tuesday, Jan. 23
Will Examine "Shakespeare's Clownes"

Posted January 16, 2001

HOLLAND -- The one-man show "Shakespeare's Clownes: A Foole's Guide to Shakespeare" will be presented at Hope College on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The one-person production is adapted, directed and performed by Curt L. Tofteland, who is the producing director of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the oldest free professional, independently operated Shakespeare festival in North America.

He is spending a week at Hope as artist-in- residence. He is visiting classes and conducting workshops for the cast of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which is in rehearsals and will be presented by the college's department of theatre in April.

Tofteland has been producing director of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival since 1989. He is at the helm of all of the festival's activities: artistic, administrative and educational.

He tours in "Shakespeare's Clownes: A Foole's Guide to Shakespeare" through the festival's award-winning outreach program, "Will on Wheels," which he created in 1990. He also designed, implemented and teaches for the festival's award-winning teacher training institute, "From the Page to the Stage: Teaching Shakespeare in the Classroom."

In 1993, he co-founded, with Romanian director Alexa Visarion, the Romanian/American Artists Theatre (R/AAT), which is designed to bring together theatre artists from both countries for collaborative projects. He performed "Shakespeare's Clownes" in Romania in October of 1992.

Tofteland is the author of 10 professionally produced plays, and in 1988 was awarded an Al Smith Fellowship in playwrighting from the Kentucky Arts Council. He designed, wrote and hosted the award-winning creative thinking series, "Imagine That," which has been seen in 10 states, for the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) network. KET also broadcast his production of "Jemima Boone," which he directed for Stage One: Louisville's Family Theatre.

He is an adjunct theatre faculty member at Indiana University Southeast, the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community College. His teaching credits also include Shakespeare's Studio, Louisville Youth Performing Arts High School, Young Actors Institute, Horizons Unlimited, St. Raphael School and the Jewish Community Center.

He served for three years on the staff of the Kentucky Center for the Arts Institute for Arts in Education, and has conducted numerous state, regional, national and international workshops. He has held leadership roles in professional theatre service organizations at both the international and the state levels, and founded the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America (STAA), of which he is a past president.

Tofteland's residence at Hope and the performance of "Shakespeare's Clownes" are presented by the college's department of theatre with funding support from the Hope College Patrons for the Arts.

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