Avi Hoffman Hosts a One Night Only Festival of Classics

This Spring, stay tuned for a One night only of Shakespeare, his Contemporaries and theatrical experimentation — the Legacy of Joseph Papp and ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ is explored by Avi Hoffman, who hosts five companies sharing classic literature, theater and impacts on American culture

Actor Avi Hoffman will host a ‘Festival of Classics’ exploring the man, Joseph Papp, who was literally ‘Shakespeare in the Park.’

This production features classical theater — with new twists. Hoffman hosts this special night with five other South Florida companies producing theatrical elements celebrating classical literature, history and culture.

“Shakespeare was a stranger to me. I had no particular interest in him for I was from a different cultural tradition. But I know a good speech when I hear one, it all sounded like music.” These were the words of Joseph Papp as he described his first encounter with Shakespeare. “I was in junior high school and some teacher read from ‘Julius Caesar.’ It was this speech about rousing people to action and loyalty. I loved that speech. ‘You blocks — you stones — you worse than senseless things. Oh, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome.’ I identified with the character. He was protesting injustice done to someone that he cared for.” Joseph Papp

Hoffman knew Joe Papp personally and will introduce each ‘scene’ or vignette from productions by South Florida theater companies including:

‘Romeo and Juliet’ Shakespeare’s play from Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida — SToSF

‘Julia + Roselo’ Lope de Vega’s play produced in conjunction with SToSF and Grace Arts FL — GACFL

‘Macbeth’ Shakespeare’s play produced by New City Players

‘Song of Deborah’ a musical interlude inspired by 1960’s social justice movements produced by GACFL and Emily Ricca Dance Collective

‘King Lear’ Shakespeare’s play produced by Thinking Cap Theatre

‘Joseph Papp’ ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ — Hoffman interprets a number of documentaries and written recordings of the life of Papp and his work in 1960’s New York to establish free Shakespeare performances at The Delacorte Theater, an 1800 seat outdoor theater in Central Park, at West 81st Street and Central Park West.

Papp loved to help people. He helped young actors get work and become stars through his revolutionary establishment of the ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ program. “James Earl Jones, Raul Julia, Meryl Streep, Kevin Klein, Ossie Davis and so many others worked for little or no pay in the early days. Hoffman describes his own training under Papp as a young actor. “Joe made stars. He was definitely a star maker.”

Hoffman became dedicated to telling the story of Joseph Papp to a new generation who seems to have forgotten this great leader of the arts, theater, culture and social change. He will share his newest creation, a new theatrical exposition about Joseph Papp and the influence he had in the American art scene.

The evening will end with a meet and greet with the artists including new 2020 projects.

Clare Vickery and Peter Galman describe the collaboration to produce an English version of the Lope de Vega’s play ‘Castelvines and Monteses’ Spanish version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ‘Julia and Roselo’ by Lope de vega, recreates the scene where two lovers first meet, similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet,’ but these teenagers in Spanish rhythms fall in love in a comedic musical conversation-while a third -party lover misinterprets Julia’s flirtations for himself. Unrequited love and tragedy follow but the play culminates in a surprising and truly happy ending.”
Peter Galman comments on Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida’s production of ‘Romeo and Juliet;’ “In Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers see each other for the first time at a party, are immediately struck by that swift golden arrow-we call love-and are drawn to each other. Out of their mouths come a shared sonnet that exquisitely describes falling in love. It’s a scene we are all familiar with, and love to hear again and again.”
New City Players Director of ‘MacBeth’ Tracy Manning says her production is about “…Isolation, ambition, passion, fear…perhaps this play is not as old as it seems.” Timothy Davis (Company Founder and Producer) adds “We do Shakespeare because standing on the shoulders of those who have come before is essential to our growth as an art form and as humans. If we don’t look back to honor and learn from the past, we cannot progress forward.”
Peter Galman and Nicole Stoddard comment on ‘King Lear’ produced by Thinking Cap Theatre “The tragic flaw in the character of King Lear is seen in the first scene when he sets up an obvious civil war by rashly dividing his kingdom among his sycophant daughters. He places loyalty above everything and willfully destroys his kingdom because he doesn’t get it. Without saying it in King Lear, there is a lesson for us today as we witness the ruinous, divisive political climate happening in America.”
Clare Vickery for Emily Ricca Collective for ‘Song of Deborah’ dance theater explores history of women and war “Iconic music of the 1960’s was often inspired by classical literature and social justice. Artists demanded an accounting for what they perceived were endless wars. Emily Ricca’s Dance Collective choreographs storytelling of a famous female leader of ancient Israel, Deborah, engaging a new generation of young women living through world wars, hoping that perhaps new avenues of peace can be pursued.”

Arts & Ent. News Featuring Influencers & Brands in SOFLO & Beyond. Articles written by Tandaleya Wilder & Team SGG Media. Content does not = Endorsement.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store