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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Play Reading & Master Class Continue 2018 Gates Ferry Lecture Series “What is Truth?” at CSC



“What is Truth? And Does It Really Matter? These questions have served as the core inquiry of the world’s greatest and most popular playwrights over the past two thousand years.”
- Randall Duk Kim

Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso return to headline Centenary Stage Company’s Gates Ferry Series presentation with a free staged reading of select scenes from Shakespeare’s monumental drama “King Lear” on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM in the Kutz Theatre at the Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown, New Jersey. The November 14 reading and the master classes that precede and follow it marks the continuation of the 2018 Gates Ferry Lecture Series: “What is Truth?” The November 14 reading will be the second of three presentations, all featuring Kim and Occhiogrosso, which also includes a full stage production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of The People” from February 15-March 3, 2019. The Wednesday, November 14 7:00 PM reading of select scenes from Shakespeare’s King Lear is a free event. To reserve, please call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 0900 or visit www.centenarystageco.org.

The November 14 reading will be preceded by a master class on the weekends of Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4 and Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11 from 1PM - 4PM. The classes will involve a reading of the play with an emphasis on its exploration of "Truth Banished" and rehearsal of selected scenes to be presented at the reading. Master classes are limited to twenty five interested participants selected from the University and community. Members of the community interested in attending the master classes should call the Centenary Stage Company box office directly at (908) 979 – 0900 to register. Select “King Lear” master class participants will be invited to join Kim and Occhiogrosso as participants in the November 14 public reading.

Kim and Occhiogrosso originally proposed the 2018 Gate Ferry Lecture Series, “What is Truth? And Does It Matter?” with the goal to encourage a public dialogue surrounding this most serious of contemporary issues. Following the reading of select scenes from “King Lear,” Kim and Occhiogrosso and members of the Centenary University academic community will lead an in-depth audience discussion of the play and its relevance to today’s world.

Occhiogrosso states, “In this time of ‘Fake News,’ and ‘Alternative Truths’ and convenient omission of the facts, one is forced to ask ‘What is Truth? And Does It Really Matter?’ Kim adds, "Both these questions have served as the core inquiry of the world’s greatest and most popular playwrights over the past two thousand years. The theatre allows us to see man’s encounter with this mightiest and perplexing concept. We can see how they encounter it, try to escape it, hide from it, expose it and deny it, and how it affects their lives and the consequences endured through its encounter.”

For over 40 years, Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso have devoted their lives to the classical theatre through acting, directing teaching, commissioning new translations of classical works and developing a singular approach to classical text interpretation which combines, research, training and production. This life-long dedication to classical theatre led to their founding, in 1979, along with founding partner Charles J. Bright, now deceased, of American Players Theatre, Spring Green, WI, the only professional, outdoor classical rotating repertory theatre company in America at that time. Under their combined leadership, American Players Theatre received a Tony Award nomination in 1985 for “Outstanding Regional Theatre in America.”

Winner of the OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, Kim began his early career with the legendary Joe Papp and the New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival and performed leading classical roles at some of America’s finest regional theatres including Hamlet, Shylock, King Lear, Falstaff and Oedipus Rex, among many others. He has been seen on Broadway in Flower Drum Song, Golden Child and The King and I but perhaps is most universally recognized as “The Keymaker” in the film Matrix Reloaded and the voice of “Oogway” in the DreamWorks’ animated film Kung Fu Panda. Mr. Kim’s TV and film work includes the BBC Special Prisoner in Time, Anna and the King, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragonball, Ninja Assassin, Elementary and John Wick. Most recently, Kim starred in Centenary Stage Company’s production of “Art,” directed by Anne Occhiogrosso.

In 2016, Kim and Occhiogrosso returned to Wisconsin for “The Pleasure of His Company: Our 40 Year love Affair with William Shakespeare” for one SRO performance at the Wisconsin Union Theatre at UW Wisconsin / Madison. Earlier, Kim and Occhiogrosso headlined the two-hander “Then Came Each Actor,” a celebration of the lives and work of some of the theatre’s most legendary actors, at CSC in 2015.

As creators of the Centenary Stage Company series “Great Authors Out Loud,” Kim and Occhiogrosso have offered readings from authors Edgar Alan Poe, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker and James Thurber and classical theatre playwrights William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Moliere, Chekhov and Ibsen which has drawn a loyal and enthusiastic following since 2012.

In addition to the readings, they have taught a Shakespeare Intensive Course at Centenary College in which students study one play over a thirteen week period. The last three semesters focused on Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear.

Director Anne Occhiogrosso received national attention for her body of work at American Players Theatre where she was co-artistic director. An acclaimed director, dramaturg, acting coach and actress, her focus has always been classical theatre with a special emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare. At the American Players Theatre, she directed 16 Shakespearean plays along with works of by Moliere, Ibsen, Plautus, and Chekhov. She also performed the roles of The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Gertrude in Hamlet, Natalya in The Proposal, Madame Arkadina in The Seagull, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex and Anna Petrovna in Ivanov, a production which was co-directed by Morris Carnovsky and Phoebe Brand who have served as career mentors to both Kim and Occhiogrosso. She has also taught at the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and the New York Shakespeare Festival. Professional partners onstage for over four decades, Occhiogrosso and Kim are married in real life.

The “King Lear” select scene staged reading on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 PM is FREE to the public and will be held in the Kurtz Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Due to limited seating, advance reservations are highly recommended. For more information about the “King Lear” reading, all Gates Ferry Lecture Series’ “What is Truth?” events or to reserve tickets, call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900 visit centenarystageco.org.

The Centenary Stage Company box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ on the campus of Centenary University. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5PM and two hours prior to every scheduled performance event. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Like” and “follow” to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of Centenary Stage Company’s performing arts events is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors HMC Atlantic Health, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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