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The internationally-acclaimed theater company Shenandoah Shakespeare Express will perform The Importance of Being Earnest, Henry IV, Part One and Two Gentlemen of Verona at Colby College in November as part of their 2003-04 Excellent Motion tour. The performances are part of the college’s 2003-04 Theater and Dance season. Performances will be held beginning at 7:30 p.m. nightly in Strider Theater of Runnals Building on the Waterville campus. Admission is charged.

On Wednesday, November 5, Oscar Wilde’s comic masterpiece The Importance of Being Earnest will be performed. Directed by Jim Warren, artistic director, and defined by wit and style, this comedy of manners deserves its reputation as the greatest English comedy since Twelfth Night. Wilde’s comic attack on the shams of superficial earnestness in late-Victorian society make it one of the most celebrated of all stage comedies.

On Thursday, November 6, Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One will be performed. Directed by Joyce Peifer, associate artistic director, and Jim Warren, Henry IV, Part One takes a big brawling look at English history and at the competing claims of duty, honor and friendship. With energy and a brisk pace, Shakespeare creates a whole range of society.

On Friday, November 7, Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona will be performed. Directed by Fred Nelson, associate artistic director, the play is partly a funny look at love, and partly a serious examination of friendship. Two Gentlemen of Verona has one of Shakespeare’s most engaging comic heroines, one of his funniest clowns and the best role in drama for a dog.

The Shenandoah Shakespeare theater company performs under conditions closely approximating those for which Shakespeare originally wrote. The cast includes a dozen actors who play double roles, use thrust staging and employ universal lighting so the audience and actors can see each other. To connect the text to modern audiences Shenandoah Shakespeare uses musical accompaniment set in a contemporary style and modern clothing with elements designed to distinguish character, rank and role. The result has been called “uncommonly understandable” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “shamelessly entertaining” (The Washington Post).

General admission is $3; students and seniors are $2. For ticket information call the box office at 207-872-3358 between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Or call 207-872-3388 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on upcoming productions visit the Theater and Dance Web site at