Students studying outside the library

American Shakespeare Center to perform

Knight of Burning Pestle

One-night-only performance of ‘Knight of Burning Pestle’

(MEDIA: A high-resolution (300 dpi) photo is available electronically on request. Contact Laura Corbin.)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The American Shakespeare Center on Tour, the touring arm of the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, will present a one-night-only performance on Monday, Feb. 15, at Wofford College.

The performance of “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” by Francis Beaumont will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Tony White Theater in the Campus Life Building. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Seating is limited and reservations are required' call the Wofford Theatre Box Office at 597-4080.

“This one-night-only performance serves as a teaser for our big ‘Fall for Shakespeare’ event next October,” says Mark Ferguson, director of Wofford Theatre, “when we’ll have the troupe on campus for three days doing text and performance workshops as well as performances of ‘Macbeth,’ ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Measure for Measure’ – so awesome. Wofford Theatre should turn 40 every year.”

Dr. Amy Sweitzer, assistant professor of English at Wofford who teaches Shakespeare, says, “This is great! I’ve seen this troupe do ‘Roaring Girl’ and ‘Richard III,’ and they were terrific. I love ‘The Knight of the Burning Pestle.’ It’s not performed often enough, and will surprise anyone who thinks of Renaissance drama as elevated, elitist, classic, ‘good for you.’ The troupe is inventive, dynamic, and wonderfully, appropriately irreverent.”

Jim Warren, artistic director for the troupe, says of the production: “I don't usually traffic in superlatives, but I firmly believe that ‘Pestle’ is the funniest play (in performance) of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras not written by Shakespeare. It has all of the silliness and wackiness of ‘The Comedy of Errors’ and ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ combined. And on steroids. ‘Pestle’ would be remarkable just for being that funny, but it’s even more entertaining because of its use of music, the multiple meta-theatrical levels it employs, and the river of good will and message of mirth that run underneath and through the play.”

The American Shakespeare Center on Tour presents three plays on its 2009-10 Rough, Rude, and Boisterous Tour: “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” along with two plays by William Shakespeare, “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

The troupe is scheduled to perform at venues throughout the eastern half of the United States through March. In April, they will return to Staunton to present the spring season at the Blackfriars Playhouse through the middle of June.

For more information on the troupe and its performances, go to