Saturday, July 1, 2017

YWAA at Boscobel, Aug. 20

Yale drama expert Murray Biggs returns to lecture to the YWAA group before the Boscobel performance The General From America, Aug. 20.
YWAA, including Yale alumni, family and friends, will return to Boscobel in Garrison for its annual outing of drama on the shores of the Hudson in Garrison, Sunday Aug. 20.

This year, there is a another kind of twist.  Shakespeare, whose plays at Boscobel are offered with twists, turns, innovation, edge, and creativity, won't be the headliner performance.  At the Yale gathering, which includes the pre-performance lecture and picnic, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will perform The General From America, Richard Nelson's portrayal of Benedict Arnold. 

Murray Biggs, the Yale expert in Shakespeare, will still join the day and provide insights at his annual lecture before the evening stage lights turn on.  He will speak to the YWAA group and highlight for guests' benefit what they should look for and remind them why they will be entertained and perhaps inspired.

Biggs' lecture starts at 3:45 pm at the Hastings Center in Garrison. The Yale group will have an on-your-own picnic on the sensational Hudson shoreline at 6 pm. The play will begin at 7:30 pm. 

The production will be special, if only because the Boscobel setting and Hudson River background are the actual historical settings of the show's plot.  Benedict Arnold, as most know, fought for the American Army during the Revolutionary War and became a commander at West Point. In 1780, he fled to the British side and became an officer of the British Army--just a short distance from the big white tent at Boscobel that will feature a 2017 performance about him.

The play is directed by Penny Metropulous, who told the HVSF, "I'm always interested in anything that makes me study harder, and it seems like a good time to brush up on American history."

Metropulous, who has worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for over 20 seasons, has directed Shakespeare plays including Henry IV, The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It. She has also directed productions in Chicago, Denver, Portland and Berkeley, Calif. 

Biggs has been a YWAA fixture at Boscobel for years and attracts a popular following, who enjoy his pointing out plot directions and character flaws in the way they don't recall from their days in a Yale English course years ago.

In recent years, YWAA on the Hudson during summer has watched All's Well That Ends Well, MacBeth, Othello, The Winter's Tale, Hamlet, and Love's Labour Lost.

YWAA treasurer Rich Fabbro '76 is organizing the day's activities. Ticket details will follow.

Bruce Jennings '71, former YWAA president, joins Murray Biggs after a pre-performance lecture at the Hastings Center (above).

Before the performance, YWAA guests and friends will have a chance to lounge on the grounds for a picnic and absorb the summer surroundings along the Hudson River.

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