Buy Tickets From the 2016-2017 Season: Resurgens Theatre Company Presents Ben Jonson’s Volpone Playing September 22, 2016 to September 25, 2016

$15 General Admission Preview Wednesday September 21, 2016
Performances September 22, 24 & 25
Special one-night performance of The Alchemist, Sept. 23

As part of our Ben Jonson First Folio Quadricentennial Season, Resurgens Theatre Company returns to the Shakespeare Tavern this September with one of the most enduring comedies of the seventeenth century. Delight with us in the duplicitous schemes of a master con artist and his cunning parasite (Volpone, the Fox and Mosca, the Fly), as they expose and exploit the ravenous cravings of a corrupt society. Directed by Dr. Brent Griffin, this “original practices” production focuses sharply on the biting satire and multifaceted irony that makes Jonson’s play famous, underscoring Samuel Pepys’ oft-repeated claim that it is “a most excellent play; the best I think I ever saw.”

One Night Only:
Resurgens Theatre Company in association with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company presents
Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist
Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Directed by Brent Griffin

For one night only, Resurgens Theatre Company returns to the Shakespeare Tavern this September with one of the most popular English comedies ever performed—The Alchemist. Join us for the satirical exploits of the “venture tripartite” (criminally composed of a butler, a conjurer, and a prostitute), as they humorously scam gullible customers greedy for the power and riches of the philosophers’ stone. Directed by Dr. Brent Griffin, this “original practices” production heartily embraces Jonson’s verbal energy and poetic virtuosity, demonstrating why Coleridge deemed this play one of the three best plots in all literature.



Director's Notes

Directed by Brent Griffin

Director’s Notes for Volpone

This evening’s production of Volpone continues our yearlong commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of Ben Jonson’s monumental Workes, an unprecedented collection of the playwright’s poetic achievements in one volume. Before its folio publication in 1616, early modern plays and poems were considered ephemeral amusements performed solely to “beguile / The lazy time … with some delight.” Few thought them worthy of the considerable effort and expense necessary to produce a large-format, leather-bound edition. All this changed with Jonson. Though scoffers mocked the audacity of his literary pretentions (one derisively wrote, “Pray tell me, Ben, where doth the mystery lurk, / What others call a play you call a work”), his book proved to be a commercial success, not only prompting an enhanced second edition during Jonson’s lifetime, but also paving the way for future folio publication of dramatic texts (and, as a result, elevating the status of plays and playmakers to a new found respectability). Thus, the debt owed to Jonson by theatre artists and audiences is immense, to be sure, and we honor his extraordinary accomplishment tonight with a strict adherence to the lineation and metrical phrasing found in the 1616 First Folio. Nevertheless, we believe that Jonson, who actually oversaw the print publication of his plays (unlike most other Renaissance playwrights, including Shakespeare), refashioned and augmented his earlier performance texts with a reading audience specifically in mind. One has only to note his comments on the title page to Every Man Out of His Humor, which state that it contains “more than hath been publikely Spoken or Acted,” for confirmation of this likelihood. Therefore, recognizing both the historical precedent and present-day need for theatrical alteration and abridgement, we’ve followed the original practice of judicious editing for this production of Volpone, so as to better suit the players and particulars of Resurgens Theatre Company.

Tonight’s show is also part of a larger season of Jonson’s plays built, primarily, to complement our first bi-annual conference on early modern verse drama by Shakespeare’s contemporaries: The Ben Jonson First Folio Quadricentennial Conference. Over the weekend of September 23 and 24, a select group of Renaissance scholars will gather at the Tavern to examine aspects of the various playtexts found within the Folio, as well as Jonson’s influence on seventeenth-century performance practices and print culture. For more details on registration and our schedule of events, see our University of North Georgia website: http://www.ung.edu/english/ben-jonson-conference.

Show Information

Duration

Both shows run 2 hours with no intermission

Show Roles

Performances September 22, 24, 25, 2016

Show Times
Shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
1
 
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.

Additional Information