posted January 16, 2001

One-Man Show Examines Clownes

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.