Shakespeare lovers are in for a treat when Timothy Mooney, whose one-man shows “crack the code” on Shakespeare’s most challenging plays, presents “A Little Bit o’Shakespeare” and “Shakespeare-on-Demand” at this year’s River Campus Summer Arts Festival.
Mooney’s shows are a new addition to this year’s festival scheduled for June 15. “A Little Bit o’Shakespeare” will be performed at 11:15 a.m., and “Shakespeare-on-Demand” at 4 p.m., both in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. The events are free and open to the public.
“We are very pleased to bring Timothy Mooney to the River Campus Summer Arts Festival,” said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, dean of the Earl and Margie Holland College of Arts and Media. “His shows are fast-paced and quite enjoyable for both the Shakespearean novice and the scholar.”
“A Little Bit o’Shakespeare” is a pre-selected 45-minute collection of some of Shakespeare’s most accessible monologues. The performance packs in 12 to 14 monologues from Shakespeare’s most fun and popular works.
“Shakespeare-on-Demand” is a spontaneous collection of performance pieces based on the Shakespearean wishes of the audience. The game-like performance puts Mooney at the audience’s mercy as he acts out a requested scene.
“I provide whole new insights to Shakespeare while having fun by showing why he has been so popular for over 100 years,” Mooney said.
Mooney performed in a stand-alone event several years ago at the River Campus, Weller-Stilson said. This year’s performances are made possible thanks to the Southeast Department of English and the festival’s generous sponsors.
Amid all the fun, the audience discovers the range, excitement and genius of Shakespeare in passionate scenes of action, character and power, Mooney said.
“I dive in deeply finding the comedy and drama in Shakespeare,” he said. “I show an appreciation for the language and bring life to what’s underneath while many are scared off.”
He throws himself into the performance as he would for any modern play, Mooney said.
He is also the author and adaptor of “Breakneck Hamlet” and “Shakespeare’s Histories; Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace!” He is the former founder and editor of “The Script Review” and also the former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Stage Two Theatre, where he produced nearly 50 plays in five years, including many new versions of the plays of Moliere.
“He is an excellent actor and makes Shakespeare fun. This addition to the festival is sure to delight our guests,” Weller-Stilson said.