Feb. 21-24 on Muhlenberg College stage
Over the past several years, Muhlenberg College theater students have come to look forward to working with Kevin Crawford, a visiting professor from the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. This past semester, Crawford made the trip to Allentown and brought with him his unique brand of physical theater to the Muhlenberg Mainstage in a production of Ben Jonson’s over-the-top comedy “Bartholomew Fair.”
Crawford and musician Caroline Boersma, Accademia’s Music Program Coordinator, were this season’s Baker Artists-in-Residence at Muhlenberg, sponsored by the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation. Boersma provided original musical arrangements to the production. Her unique score uses music from the early 1600s, which she accompanied on cello, along with
vocal and instrumental performances by the actors themselves.
Jonson’s 1614 play is “a noisy, exuberant slice of Jacobean life,” Crawford says. “It’s about the upper-class society meeting the underbelly at the Fair and what happens when they interact. Madmen become prophets. Prophets humiliate themselves and gradually become madmen themselves. It’s a mix of punk, puritan, and opposition. Clean versus dirty.”
Crawford says that despite its 17th century origins, the story still resonates with modern audiences. Crawford wanted to take the world of “Bartholomew Fair,” Jonson’s last great comedy, and show exactly how relevant it still is today. “The thing that’s fun for me is watching this 400-year-old text just bursting to life. It’s like a firework display.”
Muhlenberg Faculty member Holly Cate says: “Kevin has a love for the language, which is rich and nasty and fabulous and profane. I think it’s going to be like a little confection that everyone is going to enjoy. It’s going to be very funny — a grand experiment.”
Performances of “Bartholomew Fair” ran Feb. 21–24: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m at the Baker Theater, Trexler Pavilion for Theater and Dance, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa.
Read a full review of Bartholomew Fair in the February 25, 2013 edition of Lehigh Valley’s The Morning Call here.
More About Kevin Crawford:
Kevin Crawford is a founding member of the Roy Hart Theatre Company, whose groundbreaking influence on contemporary voice-work for theater is internationally recognized. He toured extensively with the company for more than 20 years, during
which time the company received many prestigious prizes including an Obie Award in New York and the Prix Jean Vilar at The Printemps des Comédiens.
Read more about Accademia dell’Arte’s MFA in Physical Theatre here.