UMBC's Shakespeare on Wheels troupe rolls into a summer of 'Hamlet' on tour

ARTS NOTES

June 12, 1994|By Linell Smith | Linell Smith,Sun Staff Writer

Shakespeare On Wheels' 10th-anniversary production of "Hamlet" will tour Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, July 2 through Oct. 9.

In the spirit of the medieval pageant wagon, the theater, based at and sponsored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, travels across the region giving free performances of a Shakespeare play in outdoor settings.

This year, in an effort to stabilize funding, the summer theater has created an Adopt-A-Character program.

For a tax-deductible contribution, Shakespeare fans can receive a series of letters written from the point of view of Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude, Ophelia, Polonius, Laertes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- and even the ghost of Hamlet's father.

While providing insight into the play, the letters will reveal the contemporary nature of the conflicts the characters confront in the play.

For a contribution ranging from $50 to $150 -- correspondence with some characters costs more than others -- participants also receive an adoption pin which entitles the wearer to surprises at performances, adoption papers and a signed cast picture.

The deadline for adoption is June 30. For details, call (410) 455-2917.

Founded by UMBC theater professor William T. Brown, Shakespeare on Wheels has grown from presenting 11 Baltimore-area performances in 1985 to presenting 55 performances throughout the mid-Atlantic region this year.

* "Spice It Up," the second annual street dance to benefit Baltimore Clayworks, will run from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday at Clayworks, 5706 Smith Ave. The event will include world beat music by Mama Jama, international foods and a sale of handmade pottery. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the educational and community outreach programs of the nonprofit arts organization. For details, call (410) 578-1919.

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The deadline is June 30 for artists to submit slides for the 1994-1995 exhibition season at the Tuttle Gallery in Owings Mills. Artists who exhibit in the gallery, a nonprofit space for displaying contemporary artwork in a variety of media, also visit the school to meet with students. For additional information, call Oletha DeVane at (410) 363-0600, Ext. 224.

Auditions

* Mystery Cafe Dinner Theatre at Velleggia's will hold auditions for its new production, "Marriage Can Be Murder," at noon Saturday at Velleggia's, 829 E. Pratt St. Actors should be prepared to read and to perform an upbeat musical number. For details, call (410) 366-0396.

* Theatre Therese will hold auditions for an October production of "Once Upon a Mattress" at 7 p.m. June 19 and 20 in the Shrine of the Little Flower Hall, 2854 Brendan Ave. Auditioners should bring a prepared song and be ready to read from the script. For details, call (410) 483-2055.

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Amateur country music bands and musicians are invited to enter the Jim Beam Country Music Talent Search for the chance to compete in a "battle of the bands" in Nashville in October.

The winner, selected by a panel of music industry professionals, will perform at a private showing before an audience of country music recording executives.

Musicians should submit an audio (or video) tape of their performances by Aug. 10. Those interested in entering the contest can receive official rules and information by writing to Jim Beam Country Music Talent Search Contest, P.O. Box 5008, Ronks, Pa. 17573.

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